NM House Committee Kills Marriage Bill
By a vote of 7-4, today a Democratic-majority New Mexico House subcommittee killed a bill that would have placed marriage equality to a public vote. Two Democrats (Mary Helen Garcia and Debbie Rodella) voted against the bill, otherwise it would have passed 6-5.
Glen Strock, pastor of Pecos Valley Cowboy Church, was among several people who argued against the amendment based on biblical teachings. "The same God we ask to bless America said, 'You shall not lay with a man as with a woman. That is an abomination,' " Strock said. Former state representative Andy Nunez, an independent from Hatch, also opposed the bill. "We're against this gay marriage. It's not right in my estimation," Nunez said. "They can go to Canada and get married, or somewhere else."NOM will surely claim credit. (Tipped by JMG reader Paula)
House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants, made an impassioned speech for the amendment. He wept at one point as he recounted the struggles of a young gay man who had cut his wrists because of unhappiness. Martinez argued that gay people are born with that orientation, and said everyone by now should understand that. "Why would you choose a life where you're going to be discriminated against?" he asked. Martinez's oratory was strong enough to move several people in the audience to tears.
UPDATE: American Veterans For Equal Rights reacts.
Many of us got up early, travelled through the snow in and around Albuquerque to snowless Santa Fe for the hearing on the Marriage Amendment only to see it tabled after very passionate and often emotional testimony. Representative Egolf, the sponsor, and Speaker of the House, Sanchez both had tears in their eyes as they spoke eloquently for passage of a Marriage Amendment to the NM Constitution. Several of us, young and old, Hispanic and Anglo, men and women, testified about the importance of passing this bill. Rest assured this is only temporary and we will win this fight in New Mexico for the equal right to marry the ones we love. Just as we won the right to serve openly in our military, we will prevail in the fight for equal rights for marriage as each of us individually and as groups makes our story known to our family, friends, co-workers and elected representatives.