New Mexico's highest court is stepping into the fray over marriage equality and could set a statewide precedent at a time when some counties grant the unions and others don't.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments from lawyers Wednesday. The court will issue a decision later.
At issue is a ruling by an Albuquerque district court judge that it's unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
County clerks statewide have asked the justices to clarify the law. Eight of the 33 clerks, some in response to orders by lower courts, are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
New Mexico law doesn't explicitly prohibit or authorize marriage for same-sex couples. Proposals to ban or allow same-sex marriage have failed in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
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