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STATE OF THE UNIONS

New Mexico Lawmakers To Consider Marriage-Equality Measure

new-mexicoIf the Legislature approves a proposed constitutional amendment, voters in New Mexico could soon be voting on whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) is scheduled to be put forward in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. If ultimately approved, it would amend the state constitution to declare that “the issuance of a marriage license shall not be denied on the basis that the sex of both applicants is the same.”

House Joint Resolution 3 would also ensure religious institutions wouldn’t be required to perform marriage rites that conflicted with their teachings.

“It’s time to recognize all the families in New Mexico who are headed by same-sex couples,” said Egolf earlier this week.

Currently New Mexico law doesn’t ban gay marriages, but efforts to pass a domestic-partner law  have failed in recent years. The Land of Enchantment does, however, provide benefits to same-sex partners of state employees and recognize marriages performed elsewhere.

To find out how you can help in the marriage-equality effort in New Mexico, visit Equality New Mexico and Just New Mexico.

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 20, 2013
Tagged: , , ,
  • 5 Comments
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      First: another one!? What is that, eight or nine states working on this this year?

      Second: why are they doing this as a constitutional amendment when they don’t already have one banning gay marriage? Why not simply pass it as a statute? It’s not like there’s a solid need to worry about its being overturned, and aside from the principles involved in rights being voted on, campaigns are expensive… and will actually be necessary in enough places as-is (always, of course, excepting the possibility of the Supreme Court changing that.)

      Jan 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @hyhybt: The Republican Governor of New Mexico would veto any bill legalizing gay marriage; the Legislature would need two-thirds of both houses to overturn the veto, and the numbers simply aren’t there to do that.

      A constitutional amendment, on the other hand, only takes a majority of both houses to submit it to the voters; it might not be the ideal path, but it’s the only chance for NM marriage equality while the GOP controls the governor’s mansion.

      Jan 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Badger’s correct we have a better chance with the voters than with Gov. Martinez. It will not be easy by any means but the chances are better.

      Jan 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whiteboymdew
      Whiteboymdew

      @@Badger88:

      Yes, you are correct. With the Governor in the mansion until at least January 1st, 2015. That would mean they would have to send it as an amendment because there just no other way. Also, I mean it will be interesting to see where this goes because I mean not all Democrats are going to support sending this to the people and not all Democrats are going to support voting for marriage equality. Domestic Partnerships failed in the Senate in 2009 it lost by 9 votes. I don’t even think a simple majority is there to send this to the people. I mean I dont see the votes there.

      It will be difficult, but I mean New Mexico is one of those states who are getting very close on this, but they are pretty far. Conservative Democrats might kill it all. If approved by the House & Senate this would be on the ballot in 2014. I think the people would narrowly support it 52% to 48%

      Jan 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Badger88: Thank you; that makes sense. New Mexico, then, is following the path the governor of New Jersey insists on.

      Jan 21, 2013 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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