Monday, February 04, 2008

Today: HB9-Domestic Partner Bill Hearing in Senate Judiciary, 2PM

From EQNM: We're sorry for the short notice, but the Senate Judicary Committee is going forward with hearings on House Bill 9 (The Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilites Bill) after all! The hearing is scheduled for 2:00 PM in room 321 at the Roundhouse. We anticipate the meeting will probably start a little late, so if at all possible please join us for our rally and press conference in the rotunda at 2:30 PM and then stay for the hearing. Today is EQNM Lobby Day at the Legislature. Let's Rock the Roundhouse!

February 4, 2008 at 12:26 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Monday 2/4: Equality New Mexico Lobby Day at NM Legislature

From EQNM:
On Monday, February 4th, 2008 join hundreds of New Mexicans to rally in support of House Bill 9, the Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act. Every person counts in what could be the final push in protecting ALL New Mexico Families.

Lobby Day Schedule
8:00 AM Early Bird Training
9:00 AM Second Training
10:00 AM Final Training
9:00-10:30 AM Lobby visit(s) time
10:30 AM Senate Gallery *
12:00 Host Lunch at First Christian Church
1:00-2:00 PM Round 2 Lobby Visits
2:00 PM Press Conference in the Rotunda
3:00- ??? Reception (Location TBA)
All trainings will be held at:
First Christian Church, 645 Webber St., Santa Fe MAP

*There is a possibility that the bill will be heard on the Senate floor. We cannot be certain but lobby day schedule could change slightly.

Trainings
Lobby day trainings will include a discussion of domestic partnership talking points, best practice tips for lobbying and an action plan to make the most of our time at the capital. All lobby day participants are encouraged to attend training before making lobby visits. This year we are able to offer three trainings:

Early Bird Training: This training will provide for a great chance to have a face to face conversation with your Senator before they head to morning committee hearings. It is highly recommended that you attend this hearing if you are concerned about your Senators vote (Plus you get the first pick on breakfast) to Get the worm click here

Transportation: The first 50 Early Bird Sign ups can catch the New Mexico Park and Ride at 6:35 AM on us! We are doing our best to encourage as much participation as possible. Please take this opportunity to sign up and click here. The Bus will be leaving from District 3 Station -- click here to view a map.

Second Training: The coffee will still be hot and the training is guaranteed to be on fire. This is the training to attend if you have a supportive Senator and have come to the capital delivering a thank you message, and for those of you, who need some extra sleep. To join us at our second training of the day click here.

Final Training: The Last Training of the day is for those supporters that are traveling from further distances and need a little later start. Click here to sign up

Lobby Day Press Conference
Join HB 9 Sponsor, Mimi Stewart and other Legislative Leaders to display the support behind HB9. This will be an excellent opportunity to gather with other New Mexicans fighting for fairness in our state capitol building.

House Bill 9 passed the New Mexico House by a margin of 33-31. It also received a do pass from the NM Senate Public Affairs Committee and is currently awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it passes there, it goes to the Senate floor.

You can read our previous coverage of the 2008 New Mexico Legislative Session in our archive.

February 3, 2008 at 01:35 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

(Updated) HB9-Domestic Partner Bill Passes NM Senate Public Affairs

Crowd1
Packed Senate Public Affairs committee room

UPDATE 1/31/08: Note new time for hearing Friday 2/1/08 in Senate Judiciary Committee - 2:00 PM.

From EQNM:
The Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act (HB9) passed the NM Senate Public Affairs Committee by a party line vote of 5-4. The opposition has mobilized and is showing up in large numbers. Today's committee hearing was the first where opposition attempted to pack the hearing room. Today five State Senators kept the fight for fairness alive. Senator Mary Jane Garcia explained her vote as a matter of respecting all people, values that were bestowed upon her by her religious parents.

Voting for Equality

  • Senator Mary Jane Garcia (D-Dona Ana 36)
  • Senator Dede Feldman (D-Albuquerque 13)
  • Senator David Ulibarri (D-Grants 30)
  • Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque 12)
  • Senator Howie Morales (D-Silver City 28)

Voting Against Equality

  • Senator Steve Komadina (R-Corrales 9)
  • Senator Kernan (R-Hobbs 42)
  • Senator Stuart Ingle (R-Portales 27)
  • Senator Steven Neville (R-Aztec 2)

Senate Judiciary on Friday
It is likely that HB9 will be heard in Senate Judiciary on Friday at 2:00 PM evening. We need supporters to turn up in large numbers to demonstrate the support behind this fight for fairness. More details to come.

Pray1
The opposition prays against fairness for all families

Bradley_2Espinoza_2Led by Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell 59 (right), and Former Lt. Governor Walter Bradley (left), another Republican, the opposition is determined to block fairness for all New Mexican families at this hearing. As the opposition continues to spread their language of hate, emotions will flare up. It is important to remain respectful of the process at all times.

We must be able to count on you for Friday’s hearing. Please contact Equality New Mexico at 505.224.2766 to sign-up. If you are able to take supporters in your vehicle please inform us of that fact. It is extremely important that we pack this hearing with support.

HB9 has already gained passage in the New Mexico House Commerce & Public Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, and was approved on the House Floor by a margin of 33-31. Having now passed the NM Senate Public Affairs Committee, the bill has one hurdle left in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it passes there, it will move to the Senate Floor for a vote by the entire Senate. Last year a similar measure was killed on the Senate side by 1 vote after having passed the House.

Gov. Bill Richardson is a strong backer of the bill, having indicated it's one of the most important bills on his call this year. If it passes the Senate, he will sign it.

To read our previous coverage of the 2008 New Mexico Legislative Session, visit our archive.

January 29, 2008 at 11:14 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 28, 2008

ACTION ALERT: HB9-Domestic Partner Bill in NM Senate Public Affairs Tomorrow

From EQNM:
The Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act (HB9) will be heard in its first Senate committee on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 2:00 PM in Room 321 at the Round House in Santa Fe. The bill passed last week in the NM House by a margin of 33-31. The support behind HB9 has been tremendous, but we must keep it going. New Mexico Families need and deserve these legal protections. Testimony will be extremely limited on this side. It is important to focus any statements on why Domestic Partnership is important to you. We still need to show how much support this piece of legislation still has. Your attendance is important now more than ever! If you are able attend this hearing in the Senate Public Affairs Committee please call 505.224.2766.

January 28, 2008 at 05:15 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

(Updated) HB9: 2008 NM Domestic Partner Act Passes House 33-31

One house down. Steve Terrell has the story. More later. Update 1: The AP has the roll calll on today's vote on HB9 in the New Mexico House. See below. Here's what Barry Massey at the AP had to say. He included a few quotes from legislators.

Update 2: From EQNM - This was an extremely close vote and we expect the vote in the Senate to be even closer. Before we make it there, we will have to pass two committees on the Senate side. It is our expectation that we will be heard on Tuesday, January 29, 2008. Please plan to attend this important committee hearing and prepare testimony on why Domestic Partnership is important to you. If your representative voted for the bill, please take action and thank them by clicking here.

February 4th we plan to have the largest lobby day in Equality New Mexico History. It is our hope to have the bill near the Senate Floor at this time. Please take time to rally with hundreds of other New Mexicans in support of HB9. We will be hosting three separate Lobby Day Trainings this year at 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Please sign up by e-mailing chris@eqnm.org or calling 505.224.2766 and we will send you more information closer to the 4th.

(If you don't know who your representative is, click here and enter your district or zip code.)
The 33-31 vote by the House on Thursday to approve a bill establishing domestic partnerships for gay or heterosexual couples. Voting yes were two Republicans and 31 Democrats. Voting no were 24 Republicans and seven Democrats. Not voting or excused were 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES
Justine Fox-Young (Albuquerque).
Kathy McCoy (Cedar Crest).

REPUBLICANS VOTING NO
Thomas Anderson (Albuquerque).
Janice Arnold-Jones (Albuquerque).
Paul Bandy (Aztec).
Richard Berry (Albuquerque).
Donald Bratton (Hobbs).
Anna Crook (Clovis).
Nora Espinoza (Roswell).
Candy Spence Ezzell (Roswell).
Daniel Foley (Roswell).
Keith Gardner (Roswell).
William Gray (Artesia).
Jimmie Hall (Albuquerque).
Larry Larranaga (Albuquerque).
Brian Moore (Clayton).
Jane Powdrell-Culbert (Corrales).
Bill Rehm (Albuquerque).
James Strickler (Farmington).
Thomas Taylor (Farmington).
Don Tripp (Socorro).
Shirley Tyler (Lovington).
Gloria Vaughn (Alamogordo).
Jeannette Wallace (Los Alamos).
W. C. “Dub” Williams (Glencoe).
Teresa Zanetti (Albuquerque).

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES
Elias Barela (Belen).
Jose Campos (Santa Rosa).
Joseph Cervantes (Las Cruces).
Gail Chasey (Albuquerque).
Ernest Chavez (Albuquerque).
Nathan Cote (Las Cruces).
Mary Helen Garcia (Las Cruces).
Miguel Garcia (Albuquerque).
Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales (Taos).
Joni Marie Gutierrez (Las Cruces).
Antonio Lujan (Las Cruces).
Ben Lujan (Santa Fe).
James Roger Madalena (Jemez Pueblo).
Antonio “Moe” Maestas (Albuquerque).
Rodolpho “Rudy” Martinez (Bayard).
W. Ken Martinez (Grants).
Rick Miera (Albuquerque).
Al Park (Albuquerque).
John Pena (Gallup).
Danice Picraux (Albuquerque).
Henry Kiki Saavedra (Albuquerque).
Nick Salazar (Ohkay Owingeh).
Edward Sandoval (Albuquerque).
Daniel Silva (Albuquerque).
Sheryl Williams Stapleton (Albuquerque).
Jeff Steinborn (Las Cruces).
Mimi Stewart (Albuquerque).
Thomas Swisstack (Rio Rancho).
Jim Trujillo (Santa Fe).
Luciano “Lucky” Varela (Santa Fe).
Peter Wirth (Santa Fe).

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO
Thomas Garcia (Ocate).
John Heaton (Carlsbad).
Dona Irwin (Deming).
Rhonda King (Stanley).
Andy Nunez (Hatch).
Debbie Rodella (Espanola).
Richard Vigil (Ribera).

DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING
Andrew Barreras (Tome).
Ray Begaye (Shiprock).
George Hanosh (Grants).
Patricia Lundstrom (Gallup).

REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING
Dianne Miller Hamilton (Silver City).
Eric Youngberg (Corrales).

January 24, 2008 at 05:09 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (9)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

(Updated) Thursday: HB9-NM Domestic Partner Bill to House Floor

UPDATE 1/24/08: HB 9 passed the New Mexico House of Representatives by a margin of 33-31 today. Read my post on the victory. The bill goes next to the New Mexico Senate, where it was killed last year by 1 vote.
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If you haven't yet called your representative about HB 9, please do so now.

From EQNM: The Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities act will be heard before the Full House Thursday, January 24th, 2008 at 10:00 AM. As HB 9 is the only Bill on the day’s agenda it is important that we pack the gallery to show the entire body of representatives the massive amount of support behind the fight for fairness.

The opposition will attempt to damage the bill in many ways tomorrow. As a community we must stand behind the legislators who are working for equality in New Mexico. Again, it is important to arrive early so we can be seen. This issue is extremely passionate, but it is important to respect the process and follow the Roundhouse rules when in the House Gallery.

We were able to generate nearly 25,000 e-mails to House Members over the last 36 hours. Many Members were impressed with the support and have assured they too are supporters of equality. Thank you for your excellent work in this fight for equality.

January 23, 2008 at 04:46 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

(Updated) HB 9-Domestic Partner Bill Passes NM House Judiciary; to House Floor Next

UPDATE: HB9 will be heard by the full House at 10 AM on Thursday, January 24, 2008. Pack the galleries.
************
YougbergI want to send a special shout out to Republican Rep. Eric Youngberg (right) for voting in favor of the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act and mentioning how important it is to pass this bill this Session. This isn't about approving or disapproving of such partnerships, but about ensuring fairness under civil law for all our citizens. Thanks for doing what's right Rep. Youngberg. My partner of 18 years and I appreciate it very much.

From EQNM:
At another crowded committee hearing HB 9 was given a do pass by a 9-4 vote. Supporters of Equality came out in large numbers, and shared personal stories of why this important legislation will impact their lives. Legislators commented on how exciting it was to see a large representation of youth from the Santa Fe Mountain Center who were able to provide the committee with a unique perspective. Rep. Barela made an impassioned statement about his personal growth on this issue and a strong commitment to freedom. Rep. Eric Youngberg, a Republican, added that this is one of the most important issues before the legislature.

The Legislation will now move to a vote before the full House, this vote will likely take place Thursday morning, but there is still a possibility it could happen as early as Wednesday. Once we know anything we'll let you know immediately.

Until then, please take this important opportunity to e-mail the entire House and urge them to support this legislation. Take action by clicking here.

Legislators continue to receive a lot of harassing calls from the bill's opposition. Please continue to call your legislators and urge them to support this legislation. Continue to have conversations with people in your daily life and ask them to place calls in support to their Legislators. We know a majority of New Mexicans support equality, together we can make New Mexico a place where equality actually exists.

House Judiciary Vote Tally:

Voting FOR Equality:
Rep. Elias Barela, D-Belen 8
Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque 18
Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces 52
Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque 16
Rep. Ken Martinez, D-Grants 69
Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque 26
Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque 21
Rep. Tom Swisstack, D-Rio Rancho 60
Rep. Eric Youngberg, R-Albuquerque 23

Voting Against Equality:
Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell 57
Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque 31
Rep. Gloria Vaughn, R-Alamogordo 51
Rep. Teresa Zannetti, R-Albuquerque 15
***********
Thanks to all the legislators on the House Judiciary Committee who voted for the bill! BW

Check out for yesterday's Roundhouse Recap.

You can find our previous coverage of the 2008 New Mexico Legislature here.

January 22, 2008 at 12:21 AM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

(Updated) ACTION ALERT HB9-Domestic Partnership Act: Monday Hearing, Call Legislators

UPDATE 1/21/08: Please use this tool provided by EQNM, which makes it easy to contact the legislators who are members of the House Judiciary Committee to urge their support of HB 9.

From EQNM:
After House Bill 9 received a do pass in House Consumer and Public Affairs by a vote of 4-3, we're hearing from the Roundhouse that the opposition has ignited, and they are placing hundreds of calls into every office insisting legislators vote NO on “gay marriage.” A majority of these calls are coming from out of state and Southern New Mexico. We are still encouraged by the strong showing of support for Domestic Partnership in our state, and encourage you to keep contacting your legislators and urge them to support New Mexico Families and pass HB9.

Take Five Minutes to Take Action

Step 1: Look up your Legislators by clicking HERE

Step 2: Check to see how they vote HERE

Step 3: Call the Round House Operator at (505) 986-4200 and ask for your Representative’s Office and urge them to support HB9 this year.

Step 4: Call the Round House Operator at (505) 986-4200 and ask for your Senator’s Office and urge them to support HB9 this year.

HB9 in House Judiciary Committee Monday: HJC is expected to hear the bill on Monday the 21st at 1:00 PM in Room 309. It is our expectation that the opposition will try to outnumber us again. The Judiciary Committee could be equally close so it is extremely important that every person who can be there attend.

We need supporters to gather early in the committee room (which will be larger this time). Anyone who attended yesterday’s hearing can attest to a massive crowd. It is important that we arrive before the opposition, so we can be seen and heard by the committee members. Anyone wishing to testify should contact Equality New Mexico at 505.224.2766.

If you are interested in volunteering contact chris@eqnm.com.

To see our previous coverage of the 2008 NM Legislative Session, visit our archive.

January 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

HB9-Domestic Partnership Bill Clears First Hurdle

From EQNM: House Bill 9, The Domestic Partnership Rights & Responsibilities Act, passed the NM House Consumer and Public Affairs committee today by a party line vote of 4-3. Over 80 supporters packed into the room to share testimony with committee members. The support for the bill was tremendous and the committee members took notice. The bill goes next to the House Judiciary Committee. Vote tally:

Voting for the Bill:
Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo 18)
Rep. Al Park (D-Bernalillo 26)
Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D-Bernalillo 16)
Rep. Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo 11)

Voting against the Bill:
Rep. W.C. "Dub" Williams (R-Lincoln & Otero 56)
Rep. Thomas Anderson (R-Bernalillo 29)
Rep. Nora Espinoza (R-Chavez, Lincoln & Otero 59)

To see our previous posts on the 2008 New Mexico Legislative Session, visit our archive.

January 17, 2008 at 05:54 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ACTION ALERT: First Hearing Thursday on 2008 Domestic Partnership Bill

Sign the petition in support of the Domestic Partnership Act. Pass it on.

From Equality New Mexico:
The Legislative session has officially begun and we have the momentum to pass domestic partnership this year. The Legislation was pre-filed (as HB28) and has now been introduced and designated as HB 9, the Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque). With the help of an amazing community volunteer team; Equality New Mexico has collected nearly 10,000 postcards urging the legislature to pass domestic partnership.

Yesterday Governor Bill Richardson made New Mexico History by officially placing HB 9 on his legislative call for the 30 day session. During the State of the State, Governor Richardson said:

"...The second point of unfinished business is to fully extend domestic partnership rights. Two people, who agree to spend their lives committed to each other, deserve to have the same legal protections for their families.  As a state whose diversity is its strength, we cannot accept discrimination in any form.  All families deserve our respect no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation."

We know that we have the support it will take to pass this legislation. We must now band together in this next fight for equality.

Keeping the momentum going ... This legislative session is only last 30 days, and will be extremely fast paced. We now know that the bill will be heard in House Consumer and Public Affairs on Thursday, January 17th, at 1:30 PM in the Roundhouse room 315.

It is extremely important that we mobilize as a community and get to this hearing to show our support for the HB 9. Last year supporters of Domestic Partnership outnumbered the opposition at least 3 to 1 at every hearing. This year we are aware of an opposition movement determined to spread their language of hate throughout the Roundhouse (click here to view opposition alert). Help us show Legislators that New Mexicans support fairness in overwhelming numbers.

Please let us know if you can make Thursday’s committee hearing by calling 505.224.2766 (We are trying to track how many supporters we will have so we can mobilize quickly if needed)

SAVE THE DATE: FEBRUARY 4TH 2008 EQNM Lobby Day February 4th

Equality New Mexico is planning the largest lobbying effort for Equality in our history. It is our goal to gather 300 New Mexicans. It is our hope to have passed the House and be in the Senate around this point, this will be a critical time for us to build on our energy and help HB28 pass the full senate. With your help 2008 will be a historic year for All New Mexico Families.

Contact Chris Salas at chris@eqnm.org or 505.224.2766 to sign up for this important action.   

Equality New Mexico is fighting for full civil rights for ALL New Mexicans. Please help us continue the fight.  Make a donation today at our secure website at http://www.eqnm.org/donate.html or send a check to EQNM 1410 Coal Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104.

Editor's Note: This ain't marriage, folks. As stated on EQNM's website:

Couples who register for domestic partnership would be entitled to most of the legal protections of marriage under state law. However, domestic partners get none of the federal protections of marriage. Equality New Mexico does not contend that this legislation provides equality, and we will continue to fight until all New Mexicans are treated equally under the law.  However, this legislation goes a long way toward making sure all families have access to the basic protections all families deserve.

January 16, 2008 at 02:20 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)