Looking Back On Achieving Marriage Equality In New Mexico
February 20, 2014 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Leigh Durham, HRC Field Organizer.
Just minutes ago, the New Mexico Legislature closed its 2014 Legislative Session, without hearing any legislation aimed at dismantling the freedom to marry for same-gender couples. This is a huge victory for the thousands of couples married in our state and the countless others who remain able to show their commitment to the person they love.
For the past several months, I've been lucky to be working as a Field Organizer on the ground in New Mexico for the Human Rights Campaign. I was brought on in September, alongside my co-worker Marshall Martinez, to contribute to the field program for the New Mexico Unites for Marriage campaign. The campaign was launched by a coalition of local and national organizations, of which HRC was a founding partner, to secure and defend the freedom to marry in the Land of Enchantment.
Following the landmark NM Supreme Court hearing in September, and the subsequent ruling that brought marriage equality to all same-sex couples in December, the campaign quickly shifted towards the 2014 Legislative Session. State Senator Bill Sharer introduced a constitutional amendment working to against the Supreme Court decision, defining marriage between one man and one woman. Specific legislators and districts were targeted and equality supporters across the state were mobilized during ACTION Meetings, phone banks and community events to contact their State Senators and Representatives, urging them to protect the freedom to marry if SJR6 made it to the floor.
On January 30, hundreds gathered at the Roundhouse to lobby legislators and participate in an outdoor rally for Equality Day, hosted by Equality New Mexico. Just last week, over 5,000 signed postcards were hand-delivered to legislators as a Valentine's Day reminder of the thousands of constituents who believe all loving, committed LGBTQ couples and families deserve the respect and protection that marriage can provide.
It's been a whirlwind during the last few months and I've been so fortunate to meet inspiring activists and allies from every corner of the state who are committed to furthering justice and equality for all New Mexicans. It's a huge step in our state to see that anti-equality legislation, like SJR6, wasn't even heard during this year's legislative session, but we must remain vigilant to ensure that we continue moving forward! Thank you to all of the individuals who make up this growing movement, the incredible organizations who support this work, and HRC for giving me such a critical opportunity for personal growth and professional development.
July 30, 2014