Meet New Mexico’s cowards and enemies of equality

Timothy Kincaid

February 4th, 2010

What do you do when you want to kill a bill and you don’t want any publicity for your action? Well, if you are a New Mexico Legislator you can use a procedural tactic.

New Mexico’s legislature meets for 30 days in even numbered years. So if you tie up a bill in committee after committee, you just run out of time. Which is what cowards and enemies of equality are seeking to do with New Mexico’s domestic partnership law. (New Mexico Independent)

Before sending the legislation on to Senate Judiciary Committee a 5-4 vote, the Senate Public Affairs Committee approved sending the 816-page bill to a third committee, the kiss of death during a 30-day session.

A bill that must go before three committees for hearings in either the House or Senate during a 30-day budget session is seen as having too much to overcome to survive the session.

The bill does have one powerful advocate in Governor, Bill Richardson (D) (LA Times).

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is pushing for a vote by all state senators on a proposal to allow domestic partnerships.

Richardson said Wednesday he doesn’t want the bill to get bottled up in a Senate committee this session. The bill has cleared one committee but needs to get through two more to reach the Senate floor.

But even with the Governor’s support, the timing is difficult.

So those who sought to hide from the needs of gay citizens and shield their cowardice and animosity behind procedure may well succeed. However, as I don’t wish to reward their efforts at scurrying into the shadows, I want to introduce you to the cowards and enemies of equality in New Mexico:

eichenbergTim Eichenberg – Democrat
Senate District 15 – Albuquerque
Vice Chair of the Public Affairs Committee

On his website Eichenberg says

People dislike politicians for their self-serving agendas, their double-speak and for not honoring their commitments.

A healthy, robust democracy is one in which legislators listen to and are beholden solely to the voters in their districts — not big campaign donors and lobbyists.

In 2009 Eichenberg voted for domestic partnerships. This year he voted to have it disappear in commmittee. I guess that just makes Eichenberg a cynical politician. This is his first term. Let’s hope it’s his last.

asbillVernon Asbill – Republican
Senate District 34 – Carlsbad

On his website he lists the issues that he believes are a priority for his constituents.

• Family Values
This is a combination of many factors, mainly the preservation of our lifestyle and culture. These values are deeply rooted and need to be nurtured, instilled in our children and passed from generation to generation.

At least you know where you stand with Asbill. His family’s values will always trump your family’s civil rights.

boitanoMark Boitano – Republican
Senate District 18 – Albuquerque

He believes that “Religious faith and practice is an essential civil right and religious groups are important advocates in a pluralistic society.”

His views also link to the Fatherhood and Marriage Leadership Institute and he is somewhat obsessed with making sure that marriages be protected, advanced and given governmental advantage and financial preferences.

kernanGay Kernan – Republican
Senate District 42 – Hobbs

Gay seems to have no online presence. But she is a consistent vote for discrimination and inequality.

She hates treating all citizens equally.

Gay Kernan wants all of the rights that New Mexico has to offer. It’s a pity she cares nothing about what other gays may want.

munozGeorge K Munoz – Democrat
Senate District 4 – Gallup

Munoz also voted against civil equality last year.

If this guy has an internet presence, I can’t find it. The only link I found to a campaign website led to an obsolete site. (Maybe he’s afraid of going on record about anything.)

I guess George Munoz is the male, Hispanic, Democratic version of Gay Kernan.

So now you know the New Mexico state senators who oppose equality but are too cowardly to do it by means of a public vote.

Stefano A

February 5th, 2010

As an FYI. . .

Michael Sanchez, Senate Majority leader and member of the Judiciary Committee, moved the bill straight to the Finance Committee, thus bypassing the potential Judiciary Committee holdup (the 2nd of the 3 committees).

Which means if the Finance Committee clears it, the bill would go straight to the full senate (I think).

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