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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

NM LGBTQ+ equality group endorses 2024 'Rock Star' candidates

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Thursday, March 28, 2024   

After 30 years of championing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, Equality New Mexico has its finger on the pulse of supportive legislation and has made its earliest endorsements ever for the 2024 election.

Marshall Martinez, executive director of the group, said the advocacy organization has come out early for candidates he calls equality "rock stars," those who have demonstrated proactive leadership in the fight for LGBTQ+ issues. He believes New Mexico and a handful of other states serve as models in supportive legislation.

"Queer and trans people deserve to be happy and healthy in the community they live in," Martinez pointed out. "But until we can make that happen at the national level, we want to make sure that those in New Mexico can have that life, and that others folks could consider coming to New Mexico for that life."

Last year the New Mexico Legislature passed the Reproductive and Gender Affirming Health Care bill, protecting individuals who seek such care from discrimination by public bodies.

In addition to LGBTQ+ issues, Martinez said Equality New Mexico also makes endorsements based on legislators' positions on economic policies such as paid family and medical leave. Another issue is abortion access, which he noted has become especially important since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned abortion as a constitutional right in the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.

"First and foremost, we can't rely on the federal government to uphold our protections," Martinez contended. "We will continuously point to the Dobbs decision as an indication that the federal judiciary is no longer the backstop that we used to think it was."

Martinez added the LGBTQ+ rights organization has endorsed 15 candidates for New Mexico's House and Senate seats and expects a second round of endorsements before November.

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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