King acknowledged that the laws in New Mexico that led to the debate are very complex and that state lawmakers likely will want to weigh in during their next session.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature repeatedly has turned down proposals for domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and a constitutional amendment that would have allowed voters to decide whether to legalize gay marriage. Measures to ban same-sex marriage also have failed.
Sen. William Sharer, a Farmington Republican who opposes gay marriage, has said a constitutional amendment will be needed to resolve the issue regardless of the outcome of the court case.
The Flora Vista-based Voices for Family Values said its members already are gathering signatures for petitions to present to lawmakers during the upcoming session in January.
"Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court released their ruling which redefines marriage to mean something it was never meant to be," the group said in a statement. "Though this battle did not end in our favor, the war is far from over."
Meanwhile, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, a group that has opposed same-sex marriage, took a conciliatory tone.
"The Bishops of New Mexico recognize the New Mexico Supreme Court as the interpreter of the state constitution. The Catholic Church respects and loves the gay and lesbian members of our community," the group said in a statement. "We will continue to promote Catholic teaching of the biblical definition of marriage to be that of one man and one woman."
Associated Press writers Russell Contreras and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque contributed to this report.
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