Today, three anti-marriage bills being considered by the New Mexico legislature encountered a major setback in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee. Three Democrats from Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) voted to table the measures, effectively stalling, if not killing the bills for the session. The final vote was 3-2.
The bills, HJR 7 and HJR 8 which are constitutional amendments that would define marriage as between only between one man and one woman, as well as HB 162, the “Retroactive Bar on Same Sex Marriages” bill, were attempts by social conservatives in the state to enshrine discrimination in the state’s constitution. These bills would deny thousands of New Mexican families the dignity that comes from having their relationships recognized.
Similar legislation was defeated last year, but with a more socially conservative slant at the Roundhouse following the 2010 elections, fending off this discriminatory legislation could have proved more difficult. To counter these efforts, HRC worked with a broad coalition in the state, and launched two statewide action alerts to thousands of members and supporters, which generated several thousand messages to legislators and Gov. Susana Martinez.