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NM GOP Senator Attempts to Bring Down State’s Marriage Equality Bill

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Dec 20, 2013

A Republican state Senator from New Mexico has introduced a bill to ban same-sex marriage in the state, which was just legalized on Thursday by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the New Mexico Telegram reports.

Sen. Bill Sharer (from Farmington, NM) planned to introduce the amendment, which would ban same-sex couples from marrying, on Thursday but will now rework the bill's language to address points made by the state Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality.

Sharer called the court's ruling "disappointing," adding that his amendment "needs to be written in such a way that the Supreme Court can't jeopardize the will of the people. Clearly, we need to change our state constitution to define marriage."

"Opponents to a state constitutional amendment fear the citizens of New Mexico and have denied the citizens of even having a voice in this great cultural debate of the day, in the debate over same-sex marriage," Sharer said in a statement, according to the New Mexico Telegram.

In the court's ruling, the justices stated that the ability to procreate should not factor into the rights of couples who want to tie the knot. Sharer disagrees, however, arguing that same-sex couples shouldn't get married because they cannot have children.

The newspaper points out that Sharer's amendment does not have to be approved by Republican Gov. Susan Martinez. If it passes each chamber, the amendment will be put on the ballot, allowing voters to decide whether or not same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry.

Though Martinez wouldn't have to approve the measure, she's been firm in her stance that New Mexico's voters should decide on the issue.

"Voters can change the State Supreme Court judges, they can change their State Legislators, and New Mexico voters could vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage is between a man and a woman, as it has been since our culture was formed," Sharer said.

Sharer introduced a similar measure in 2005, and another in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The measures proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. None of the measures cleared the proper committees, however.

Watch a report about Sharer and his measure via a video by KATO, ABC's Albuquerque affiliate station, below:


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