Monday, February 15, 2010

Senate Finance Puts an End to Domestic Partnerships Bill.

Everyone knew it would be tough for SB183, which would establish the right to enter into domestic partnerships, in the Senate Finance Committee.

The committee finally heard the bill this evening. The panel voted 7-4 to table it.

An attempt to send it ti the Senate floor without recommendation failed on 5-6 vote.

Voting to table the bill were Sens. John Arthur Smith, Carlos Cisneros, Pete Campos, Sue Wilson-Beffort, Rod Adair, Steve Neville and Carroll Leavell.

Voting not to table were Sens. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Nancy Rodriguez, Howie Morales and Mary Kay Papen.

UPDATE: The Governor's Office, through spokesman Gilbert Gallegos, had the following comment:

"Gov. Richardson knew going into this session that the odds were against a bill providing domestic partnership rights. The Governor is disappointed that the full Senate did not get an opportunity to vote for these rights, but he is hopeful that all New Mexico couples will eventually be afforded equal protection under the law.”

Linda Siegle, lobbyist for Equality New Mexico, a gay and lesbian rights group that was pushing the bill, had this to say:

“We’re disappointed that many of our senators do not believe that gay and lesbians should share in the same rights as other New Mexicans.But we’re not going away. We’re not giving up until this or a better bill passes. If the Legislature can’t address this, we may have to go to court.”