New Mexico's high court hears arguments about legality of same-sex marriage
Updated: Wednesday, October 23 2013, 10:56 PM MDT
By: Joshua Zuber
SANTA FE, N.M. -- As promised, two hours of arguments both for and against gay marriage were heard by New Mexico's Supreme Court Wednesday.
For those against it, the stakes are more of a moral issue. For those in favor, it's a matter of civil rights.
"The important thing today is we need a statewide decision. And that is why the clerks brought it to New Mexico Supreme Court," Maureen Sanders, attorney for American Civil Liberties Union New Mexico, said.
A ruling, though, is unlikely for quite some time.
Five New Mexico Supreme Court justices heard what they should do about same-sex marriage in the state.
Duncan Lanum of Santa Fe said gay marriage is unnatural, specifically in the eyes of the church for which he works.
"I think that personally and from the point of religious beliefs that marriage should be between and a woman," Lanum said.
Karen Schmiege, a married lesbian from Albuquerque, said the opposite -- she believes her marriage should remain legal because otherwise it is discrimination under the state constitution.
"So far we've had a civil union, we've had a blessing church ceremony in the Episcopal church and we've had a marriage license for spouse and spouse. Now I want it to really be there and happen and not jump through any more hoops," Schmiege said.
The group representing nearly two dozen state Republican lawmakers told the court Wednesday that marriage as an institution for years has proven to be important in raising children and that's why that court should rule in favor of banning gay marriage.
Same-sex marriage advocates told the court that's not true and that marriage is more than just for raising kids.
It's not clear when the justices will issue their ruling.
KFOX 14 has been told from those involved in the case it could take weeks to months.