NM Considers Dueling Bills on Same-Sex Marriage

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 02:19 PM

By Alec Weisman

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New Mexico lawmakers are reviewing two pieces of legislation that would have opposite affects on same-sex marriage in the state, according to KOB4 TV in Albuquerque.

Democratic state Rep. Brian Egolf has introduced legislation that would allow the state to grant same-sex marriage licenses. The bill, however, would not require a church or religious institution to perform marriage ceremonies or recognize gay unions if they conflict with religious beliefs.

"I think it is critically important that the State of New Mexico acknowledge gay families and tell them that they are part of the social fabric of New Mexico,” Egolf told the station.

At the same time, Republican state Rep. Nora Espinoza has introduced a proposal that would change the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The New Mexico legislature has considered similar bills in the past without moving them beyond emotional debates, leaving the state's same-sex couples in a state of limbo.

"Right now we have no legal rights whatsoever for anything," Georgia Roybal, who was legally married to her partner in Vancouver, Canada, told KOB4.

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