Freedom to Marry Preserved in New Mexico: Campaign Hails Legislative Move To Table Bill Dismantling Marriage Equality

Posted on February 20, 2014

Santa Fe, NM – Feb. 20, 2014 – With the 30-day legislative session in New Mexico ending, New Mexico Unites for Marriage (NMUM), the campaign dedicated to defending marriage equality across the state, today praised elected leaders from both parties for resisting a move to dismantle the Supreme Court’s ruling that granted the freedom to marry to everyone in the state.

“Today marks another incredible victory for justice, for equality and for families,“ said NMUM co-chair Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham. “When the Supreme Court ruled that our state constitution guarantees all New Mexicans the rights and responsibilities of marriage, we expected there would be some who would seek to overturn the decision. But the Legislature listened to the citizens of New Mexico and stood strong against attempts to deny New Mexicans their constitutional right of marriage equality. This should prove once and for all that marriage equality is here to stay in New Mexico and that all families in our state are valued and secure.”

“Freedom means freedom for everyone, including the freedom to marry the person you love,” said NMUM co-chair former NM governor Gary Johnson.  “I’m proud of our legislature for resisting efforts by a few to overturn the court’s ruling and to distract them from the important business of our state.  New Mexicans understand fairness, and this is a good day for our state and our families.”

NMUM was launched in early November with one objective – to seek marriage equality and ultimately, to defend the unanimous ruling of the NM Supreme Court.  This bipartisan, broad-based coalition of state and national organizations found support in all quarters, from faith, business, labor and civic leaders and organizations throughout New Mexico.

“This campaign started because of the groundswell of support for the freedom to marry,” said Robert Adams, NMUM campaign manager.  “It quickly grew to include more than 150 volunteers who identified more than 12,000 new supporters. Working together, they made more than 700 calls to legislators.  Our social media literally exploded. Today we have more than 19,000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page where supporters followed and joined every facet of this campaign, from attending community meetings to talking to their legislators. It made all the difference.”

Among the highlights of the campaign include:

  •  Support from more than 150 small businesses and the NM Green Chamber of Commerce.
  •  Endorsements from current and former elected officials including, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, former AG Patricia Madrid, Taos Mayor Darren Cordova, and former ABQ mayor Martin J. Chavez.
  •  Union support including the ABQ Teachers Federation and the NM Federation of Labor and other local labor organizations representing 200,000 New Mexicans.
  • 3,200 letters sent via email to legislators
  •  8,500 online petition signers urging the legislature to protect the freedom to marry

NMUM is a coalition that includes Equality New Mexico, ACLU/New Mexico, ACLU national, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Our America Initiative, Progress Now New Mexico and America Votes.

“We could never have taken on this important work without our coalition members, both here in New Mexico and nationally. We are forever indebted to their early and ongoing support,” added Adams.