Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Mexico Senator re-introduces constitutional ban on same-sex marriage; Gov. Richardson's commitment to establishing domestic partnerships

As the New Mexico legislature convenes, state Senator William E. Sharer has again introduced a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage - SJR 1. He appears to have no better odds of success than he has had in previous attempts to move his proposal through the state legislature. Diane Wood, of the American Civil Liberties Union, told an Albuquerque news station that "[m]arriage is about commitment, sharing obligations to your family, and restriction and discriminatory language such as this has no place in our Constitution."

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said that he will continue to advocate for legislative passage of a domestic partnership bill, despite the legislature's failure to approve the Domestic Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2009. He faces opposition from the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Conference's executive director said that "[t]he bishops are instructed by Catholic teachings not to give any ground that would lead to same-sex marriage." Equality New Mexico describes the benefits and protections that domestic partnerships would bring same-sex couples.

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