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Saturday, April 07, 2007

NM Domestic Partnership Act: Wait Till Next Year

Yes, catching up after a vacation is a you-know-what. Sadly, New Mexico's domestic partnership bill died at the Legislative Special Session. Insight New Mexico has the story (and audio clips from Peter Simonson of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico). Equality New Mexico reports that Governor Richardson has promised to put domestic partnership on the call for the thirty-day 2008 NM Legislative Session next January.

This year's Domestic Partnership Act passed the NM House THREE times -- once during its initial trip to the House Floor, once to restore the bill after it was gutted by the Senate, and once during the Special Session. Essenatially, it was stripped of its meaning and killed in the final hours of the regular Session by one vote. This post summarizes what happened. Four Democratic Senators voted with Republicans to kill the bill: Tim Jennings (Roswell), John Arthur Smith (Deming), Lidio Rainaldi (Gallup) and Carlos Cisneros (Questa). Opposition by the first three was anticipated, but Cisneros, for unknown reasons, suddenly switched sides. Sen. Cisneros wins my own personal Democratic Turncoat of the 2007 Legislative Session Award for this vote, as well as the one he cast (with 8 other Dem Senators) to deny the NM impeachment bill a floor debate in the Senate.

Sen. Cisneros has long been a champion of environmental, health care and other liberal causes, so it seems entirely out of character that he voted as he did in these two instances. Who knows what kinds of political pressures convinced him to vote as he did or when they came from. Maybe his thinking was still muddled because of the whack on the head with a hammer he got from his then wife, Patsy, when she caught him at a cabin with another woman in May of 2005. You can't make this stuff up. I just hope he didn't have the nerve to kill the domestic partnership bill on "moral" grounds. Maybe he'll regain his senses by next January.

Should you want to torture yourself, you can refresh yourself on our coverage of the ups and downs of this (and other) legislation by visiting our 2007 Legislative Session post archive. Also see State Senator Dede Feldman's blog post on the wrap-up of the nightmarish Special Session.

April 7, 2007 at 12:32 PM in Civil Liberties, Democratic Party, GLBT Rights, Impeachment, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink


If I had a hammer....

Posted by: Chris | Apr 8, 2007 12:19:49 PM

Dear friends, one of the biggest opponents to this bill is Senator Dianna Duran Republican of Tularosa. she gave a presentation to a chapter of Eagle Forum in Alamogordo, the Phyliss Schlafly group. she totaled lied about the bill calling it a gay marriage bill. I hope we can find a democrat to run against her with enough money to beat her and win. thanks for listening.

Posted by: Stephanie DuBois | Apr 9, 2007 9:31:27 AM