DENVER — A New Mexico municipality that wants to keep a 6-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument outside City Hall told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the structure is not government speech because it was privately funded.

The city of Bloomfield is fighting a lawsuit filed by two residents who practice the Wiccan religion and contend the monument amounts to the government endorsing a particular faith. Last year, a federal judge in New Mexico agreed and ordered the removal of the monument, saying it violates a constitutional ban on using public property to support specific religions.

That order is on hold pending the city’s appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A ruling can take weeks, possibly months.

The attorney representing Bloomfield argues the city has allowed equal access for residents to construct and pay for historical monuments on the City Hall lawn. The monuments are governed under a 2007 city policy that says the structures will be privately funded and do not reflect a particular view of Bloomfield’s officials, said Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.

“This is not a religious conspiracy,” he said.

The Ten Commandments monument was erected first in July 2011. One on the Declaration of Independence followed later, then one on the Gettysburg Address in 2012, and then a Bill of Rights one last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the two Bloomfield residents, argues the other monuments on display and the policy the city adopted do not justify the Ten Commandments structure on government property.