New Mexico's highest court has scheduled a hearing next month in a case that could resolve whether gay marriage is legal in the state.
The state Supreme Court on Friday set the hearing for Oct. 23.
The five-member court took the step a day after New Mexico's counties and county clerks statewide filed a petition asking the justices to decide whether a judge in Albuquerque was correct in declaring it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
More than 900 marriage licenses have been issued in New Mexico since Aug. 21, when the Dona Ana County clerk decided independently that gay marriage was allowed in the state. Seven other counties have started issuing licenses to same-sex couples or plan to do that, several in response to court orders.