Monday, February 16, 2009

Domestic Partnerships on Judiciary Agenda

Senate Bill 12, which would establish domestic partnerships in the state, is back on the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But that might not be good news for bill supporters.

Remember, a couple of weeks ago when the committee voted, it was a tie vote on a do-pass motion, which means the motion failed to pass. There was not a motion to table (or do-not pass), so the bill's in limbo.

Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, D-Albuquerque was out of the room at the time of that vote, but she told reporters she would have voted against it. If that holds today, and there's a motion to table, the bill will be dead.

However, last week The American Civil Liberties Union released a poll that shows that constituents in the districts of Sanchez and Sen. Richard Martinez, of Espanola -- the two Democrats on Judiciary who are opposed to legally recognizing domestic partnerships -- actually favor the concept.

The ACLU commissioned Research & Polling Inc. of Albuquerque to conduct the Feb. 6-8 telephone poll to gather opinions on a domestic-partnerships bill. Results showed that 61 percent in Sen. Richard Martinez’s district strongly support or somewhat support the proposed law, while 38 percent strongly or somewhat oppose. Martinez, of EspaƱola, represents District 5 north of Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of registered voters in Sanchez’s Albuquerque district strongly support or somewhat support the proposed law, while 31 percent strongly or somewhat oppose.

Pollsters interviewed 405 registered voters in each district. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.

If that poll had any effect on either Sanchez or Martinez, we should see this afternoon.