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New Mexico State Supreme Court to decide on gay marriage

By: Joshua Zuber
SANTA FE, N.M. -- The stage is set for the New Mexico State Supreme Court to decide whether gay marriage is legal.

Five justices will hear up to two hours of arguments for and against gay marriage in the Land of Enchantment.

One couple KFOX 14 talked to said it's both exciting and terrifying that this court will ultimately decide if their union is legal.

"By 2:30 that day we were married. We laugh about it because it wasn't even penciled in that day," Debra Darmata said about Aug. 21.

That's when she married her now wife Dr. Sylvia Nesbitt in Dona Ana county.

"It means we can file joint taxes. It means can file joint federal taxes, I believe. It means that were not legal strangers," Darmata said.

It's some of the many benefits gay couples can now have in Dona Ana County and seven others in recent months.

But, come Wednesday, these marriages are at stake.

The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear whether gay marriage is legal in the state.

This is after a district court judge, Alan Malott of the Second Judicial District of New Mexico, ruled two counties in the state should not deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Nearly two dozen Republican state lawmakers have also filed reasons why they think same-sex marriage is illegal.

They say basically that gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Those for gay marriage, including Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins, say it is perfectly constitutional.

"That the statute is unconstitutional under equal rights provision," Ellins said.

Which Darmata agrees with and hopes her wife and son, Jacob Darmata, can remain an officially married family.

"It's just unbelievable that people are still trying to decide whether or not I'm married," Darmata said.

As to when the ruling could be issued, the court has the option to do so immediately.

Though Ellins believes it will take about a week for the justices to write an opinion before they issue their ruling.

 

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