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New Mexico's highest court has declared same-sex marriage legal, joining 16 other states in the United States.
"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law," Justice Edward L. Chavez wrote in the decision.
The state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples on Thursday, granting them all the same rights of marriage that heterosexual couples have. The ruling will mean New Mexico joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia that already allow gay marriage.
The justices also noted that many states previously banned interracial marriages.
When supporters of banning same-sex marriage argued that couples of the same gender cannot procreate, the court found the fact had no ground.
"Procreation has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile, and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying," the justices wrote.
The court released a 31-page opinion that states: "All rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples."
Read the entire opinion here: