Main | Friday, February 27, 2009

Domestic Partners Bill Dies In New Mexico

For the third year in a row, the New Mexico Senate has rejected a domestic partners bill.
The New Mexico Senate just voted down a bill that would have recognized domestic partnerships by a 25-17 vote. Ten Democrats joined the body’s 15 Republicans in voting against the bill, which would have given many of the same benefits enjoyed by married couples to couples who don’t currently have the right, or the desire, to marry.
The win goes to the Catholic Church.
Some senators and domestic-partnership advocates said Thursday's lopsided defeated of a bill to establish domestic partnerships in New Mexico was due to the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had been neutral on the issue in previous years, coming out against the bill this time.[snip] Linda Siegle, lobbyist for Equality New Mexico, a gay and lesbian rights organization, said after the vote that the opposition of the bishops could have been a major factor in the loss of support. Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, agreed. He listed several Democratic senators he thought had been greatly influenced by the bishops' stance including himself. Cisneros on Thursday initially voted for the bill. However before the final vote was announced, Cisneros asked Lt. Gov. Diane Denish to change his vote to "no."
The Conference of Catholic Bishops was apparently originally willing to support the bill as long they were satisfied that it could never lead to full marriage equality in New Mexico. Gov. Bill Richardson had promised to sign the bill into law immediately.

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