With end to New Mexico legislative session, the freedom to marry stands once and for all

On February 20, a one-month legislative session in New Mexico drew to a close - and with the session's end, it's clear that marriage supporters in the state were successful in their campaign to defend and protect the freedom to marry. 

Over the past few months, fringe senators in New Mexico tried their hardest to push a radical, mean-spirited bill that would amend the New Mexico constitution to permanently ban marriage for same-sex couples. But they couldn't get enough traction for the bill to get a hearing or a vote.

By its inaction, the New Mexico legislature resoundingly rejected a proposal that sought to strike down the state Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in favor of the freedom to marry, decided on December 19, 2013. The ruling affirmed what a majority of New Mexicans already know: That everyone in the state should have the freedom to marry the person they love. 

Since the fall, New Mexico Unites for Marriage has been leading the conversation about why marriage matters in the state - and Freedom to Marry has been proud to stand as a leading and founding member of the coalition, alongside the ACLU of New Mexico, Equality New Mexico, ProgressNow New Mexico, America Votes, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Our America Initiative. In just a few months, NMUM quickly grew to a robust, grassroots operation, identifying 12,000 new supporters for the freedom to marry and logging in over 700 calls to legislators.

Thalia Zepatos, Freedom to Marry’s director of public engagement and a key member of the NMUM senior strategy team, explained the significance of today's legislative session end. She said:

This was an amazing effort that demonstrated the majority support in New Mexico for the freedom to marry. New Mexican families everywhere can now rest easy knowing that their marriages and families are secure and safe.

The timing of today’s victory bodes well as two important federal court challenges to marriage bans are headed to the 10th Circuit Court in Denver. New Mexico is one of the six states served by that court and we hope the resounding silence by its political and legislative leaders to challenge the freedom to marry resonates with the justices.

Learn more about New Mexico Unites for Marriage HERE.