Senate Bill 12, called the Partner Bill, was defeated 25-17 in the New Mexico Senate on Thursday, February 26. Conservatives of every stripe from both parties mounted an intense effort to defeat the bill. Their success was a painful defeat for the gay community and all progressive New Mexicans. Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, but for this vote 10 of the 27 Senators slithered across the aisle and voted with the Senate’s 15 Republicans.
Governor Bill Richardson and Lt. Governor Diane Denish supported the bill.
New Mexico’s religious leaders were very well organized and very determined to defeat the bill. Their consistent position has been that if Senate Bill 12 passed, the clergy would be forced to perform same sex marriages.
The actual purpose of the bill was to establish a legal basis for homosexual and heterosexual couples, all domestic partners alike to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples. Religious leaders across the state were fully aware of the clear intent of the language in the bill, but once again they chose to deceive and promote hatred for the gay community of New Mexico. We have come to expect this kind of mean spirited vindictiveness from activist clergy, but when so called “liberal” democrats embrace their repellent agenda, it’s more than disappointing- it’s devastating and unforgiveable.
Somehow, I don’t think the Democrats listed below much care about the civil rights and economic realities of gay couples. I have no doubt that every one of them would stand in front of us and with not so much as the blink of an eye passionately claim that they support the civil rights of all Americans. But, if that were true, they would not have voted the way they did on Thursday.
The Democrats who voted against Bill 12:
Pete Campos (Las Vegas)
Carlos Cisneros (Questa)
Tim Jennings (Roswell)
Lynda Lovejoy (Crownpoint)
Richard Martinez (Espanola)