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New Mexico attorney general files brief saying gay marriage ban is unconstitutional

Posted Jul 23, 2013 9:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New Mexico Attorney General Gary King told the state supreme court on Monday that a ban on gay marriage violates state constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

King said the justices should decline to rule, however, because a challenge wasn’t properly before the court, the Associated Press reports. The suit by two men denied a marriage license was filed directly with the state supreme court.

King noted that the plaintiffs, Alexander Hanna and Von Hudson, are asking the court to order the Santa Fe county clerk to issue them a marriage license. But King argued that only state officers, boards and commissions can issue such an order to a county official, according to the AP account. If the court were to do so, King said, it would set precedent that could inundate the court with requests in any dispute with a county official, including zoning and property tax disputes.

Related coverage:

Washington Post: "State officials balk at defending laws they deem unconstitutional"

Updated at 11:30 a.m to include Washington Post coverage.

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