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Domestic Partnership Bill Dies, Supporters Say They'll Be Back

April 2, 2007

Santa Fe, NM - The controversial domestic partnership bill died again this weekend after being brought back to life for a special session. The legislature adjourned the session without any action from the Senate on the bill. Peter Simonson with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico says this is a fight for equal rights, and it's not over.

"There really is no reason why lesbian and gay couples or straight couples for that matter, should be treated any differently. They work just as hard as employees who are married."

Opponents of the bill said it opened the door to gay marriage, and that it wasn't in line with traditional morality. The bill would have allowed unmarried couples to enjoy the same employee benefit as married couples, as well as child custody and inheritance rights. Supporters say they'll keep pushing for a more level playing field.

Simonson adds that New Mexico's human rights law gives unmarried gay and straight couples more rights than many other states, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.

"We look forward to seeing New Mexico become a state that recognizes the viability and the importance of domestic partnerships, be they straight, be they gay, be they lesbian."

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM