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At least 23 dead in tornado-spawning storms sweeping central US, new report finds OR workforce grows, but gaps should be addressed; AM radio in every car? The debate hits Missouri; Proposal would make MI State Capitol a 'gun-free zone.'

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President Biden delivers a Memorial Day address, former president Trump's hush money trial is poised for jury deliberations, and the Justice Department warns of threats to election officials.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

NM Approves Expansion of LGBTQ+ Rights, Reproductive Protections

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Monday, March 20, 2023   

New Mexico's LGBTQ community will soon have additional protections after existing language in state law was updated by the Legislature.

Sen. Carrie Hamblen, D- Doña Ana, co-sponsored House Bill 207 and said modification of the state's Human Rights Act means public institutions can no longer turn away or discriminate against people in the LGBTQ community without facing consequences.

"It prohibits public institutions, along with religious entities, to discriminate against these protected classes if they receive money from the state," Hamblen explained. "Meaning our tax dollars are not going to discriminate against New Mexicans."

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the legislation, which also updates language regarding people with disabilities, by removing the term "handicapped" from existing law. The governor has already signed legislation to prohibit out-of-state investigations targeting gender-affirming care.

An openly Lesbian senator, Hamblen noted the significance of New Mexico protecting the most vulnerable amid the firestorm of anti-LGBTQ policies sweeping the country.

"I'm recognizing how important representation is, and visibility is, and being able to speak for those voices that are silenced," Hamblen noted. "And that they have people who are looking out for them and who will protect them."

New Mexico's governor also signed a bill to override local ordinances limiting access to abortion procedures and medications, already adopted in the cities of Hobbs, Clovis and Eunice, along with Lea and Roosevelt counties.

Republicans, a minority in the legislature, opposed the bill saying it could put the state at odds with neighboring Texas, which has banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions.

Disclosure: Equality New Mexico contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, LGBTQIA Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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