Thursday, January 17, 2013

Egolf Pushes Marriage Equality Amendment

New Mexico voters would decide whether same-sex couples could get married in the state if the Legislature approves a proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by state Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.

“It’s time to recognize all the families in New Mexico who are headed by same-sex couples,” Egolf said earlier today.

The proposal probably won’t have an easy time in the Legislature. Lawmakers in recent years haven’t even been able to pass legislation calling for state-recognized domestic partnership agreements.

However, since the last attempt to pass such a bill here, measures have won approval in several states, including New York, in which the Legislature passed and the governor signed a marriage-equality bill, and in Maine, Maryland and Washington, where voters last year approved same-sex marriage referendums. Various public opinion polls have shown growing support for gay marriage in recent years.

Egolf’s House Joint Resolution 3 says, “The issuance of a marriage license shall not be denied on the basis that the sex of both applicants is the same. No church or religious institution shall be required to perform a marriage ceremony or recognize a marriage for religious purposes that conflicts with the church’s or religious institution’s beliefs.”

The measure, whose co-sponsors include Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Santa Fe, will first be heard in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.