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New Mexico state legislator introduces anti-gay ‘Defense of Marriage’ bill

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly included information from a report we published last year. We apologize for the error and confusion.

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico lawmaker has reintroduced a state-level Defense of Marriage Act that would amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and void recognition of marriages and civil unions from other states.

The bill, House Joint Resolution 22, was introduced last week by freshman Rep. David Chavez (R-Los Lunas), and if approved in the legislature, and then by voters in November, would prohibit New Mexico from recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside the state, as well as civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

In a departure from conducting normal city business, the Santa Fe city council last week outlined its position on the marriage amendment and approved an emergency resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Patti Bushee opposing the proposed ban on same-sex marriage.

“The Santa Fe City Council stood with New Mexico families last night, and sent a clear message to legislators: that in New Mexico we celebrate diversity, we respect our neighbors, and we value our families. All of our families”, said Jacob Candelaria, President/CEO of Equality New Mexico.

“With thousands of New Mexicans still struggling to get by in a rough economy, now is not the time to score political points by inciting discrimination against thousands of New Mexico families,” continued Candelaria.

“My sincere hope is that all legislators, including Rep. David Chavez, will spend their time focusing on what matters most to New Mexicans: education, jobs, and the economy,” he said.

Equality New Mexico has launched a Change.org petition for Rep. Chavez to withdraw his Defense of Marriage amendment.

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