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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission isn’t about cakes or weddings.

Masterpiece Cakeshop

Here’s the truth about today’s Supreme Court decision: It doesn’t actually change anything.

  • For generations, conservatives have been working to erode the rights and liberties of our communities, including LGBQ, transgender, gender expansive, women, POC, and religious minority communities.
  • Everyday trans and queer people, especially people of color, navigate a world where they experience intense discrimination;
  • A business in Colorado got away with blatant discrimination;
  • The complicated nature of the decision threatens to embolden the vocal minority that seeks to use religion as a tool for discrimination;
  • Ginsburg and Sotomayor’s dissents say that the Court should have upheld the Colorado commission’s finding that the bakery violated anti-discrimination law, because it was the correct decision—even though the process was problematic;
  • The effect of this decision is that non-discrimination laws across the country remain in effect.

Being turned away from a public place because of who you are is discrimination. As a nation, we decided long ago that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to all. The embarrassment, shame, and fear that comes from being told, “Your kind doesn’t belong here.” We thought those days were behind us.

In 2013’s Elane Photography v. Wilcock decision, New Mexico’s Supreme Court decided that there is no right to violate the New Mexico Human Rights Act. We’ve already decided that there is no license to discriminate in New Mexico—we already closed that chapter of our history. We thought that we had enshrined laws that would keep people from being unfairly fired, evicted, or refused service simply because of who they are. The promise of equal treatment under the law should be a reality for everyone.

The Supreme Court reversed the decision based on concerns that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not acted impartially when considering the bakery’s religion‐based defense. While it is disappointing that the Court let the bakery’s discrimination here go unchecked, it did so only because of concerns unique to this case. Most importantly, the Court did not give businesses the broad right to discriminate that the bakery and the Trump administration sought here. Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all. The Supreme Court today protected that core principle, expressly recognizing that states can seek to prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.

Help us keep the fight up here in New Mexico. Become a member or make a one time donation now! https://secure.everyaction.com/A9tqjjsJbE-VMY7b5e-NEw2

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Equality New Mexico Endorses Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor and Howie Morales for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico

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Albuquerque, N.M. - Equality New Mexico (EQNM), the largest and oldest LGBTQ+ political advocacy organization in the state, has endorsed Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor and Howie Morales for Lieutenant Governor. 

Lujan Grisham has been a tireless, decades-long advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in New Mexico and across the country. From her time as a cabinet secretary to her time in Congress, Michelle has consistently leveraged her offices to fight for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans. Notably, in 2013 and 2014 she served as co-chair of the New Mexico Unites for Marriage campaign, which brought marriage equality to the state. Most recently, when the Trump Administration created the Religious and Conscience Freedom Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Lujan Grisham stood up for LGBTQ+ Americans and worked with EQNM to quickly to create legislation to dissolve the discriminatory division. 

“LGBTQ+ New Mexicans will be best served by electing Michelle Lujan Grisham as our governor. She consistently demonstrates that she is one the strongest allies to our community. I know that Michelle will do everything she can to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and will ensure that all policies are inclusive,” says Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. “She truly understands and values the contributions our community make to the state.” 

Of Howie Morales’ endorsement, Carver said, “We need a Lieutenant Governor who is going to use the position to listen to the diverse voices from the LGBTQ+ community and empower them to continue speaking out and participating in our government. Howie Morales is that candidate. He will be the lieutenant governor to help promote collaboration, visibility, and better understanding of our community.”

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham released the following statement: “Equality New Mexico is dedicated to making New Mexico an inclusive place for all individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. EQNM is a strong voice for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans and helps ensure all New Mexicans and their families are treated fairly and have every opportunity for success. I am honored to have worked with them throughout the years and appreciate their recognition of my long history of supporting equality for all in New Mexico. It is an honor to be endorsed by EQNM, and I look forward to continuing working with them as governor to pass health and safety laws that are inclusive of our LGBTQ+ community.”

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Equality New Mexico Announces Endorsements of Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State and Stephanie Garcia Richard for Commissioner of Public Lands

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM: Proudly, Equality New Mexico has endorsed Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State and Stephanie Garcia Richard for Commissioner of Public Lands.

Toulouse Oliver has been instrumental in securing rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Knowing the road to marriage equality in New Mexico led through the courts, she invited the lawsuit filed by Kim Kiel and Rose Griego, et. al. that culminated in the Supreme Court’s 2013 “Griego v. Oliver”, ruling that marriage equality should be the law of the land in our state. 

“Maggie has proven herself to be one of the biggest allies of LGBTQ+ New Mexicans, time after time.” says Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM). “Because of Maggie, regardless of what happens at the federal level, LGBTQ+ New Mexicans will have the right to marry the person they love. She’s consistently leveraged her offices to secure tangible wins for our community and as EQNM continues to fight for voting rights for all New Mexicans, we need Maggie Toulouse Oliver to continue to be our Secretary of State.”

In a questionnaire turned into EQNM, Toulouse Oliver states, “I am running for Secretary of State because I believe that the more people participate in democracy, the more representative their government—and the policies it creates—are of all communities. As Secretary of State, I have worked to make it easier for everyone to register to vote, for people with disabilities to cast a ballot and for working people to be able to vote at times and places that make sense for their schedule. When everyone votes, everyone’s voices are heard. That’s how we affect real change. “

Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard, running to be the next Commissioner of Public Lands, an office traditionally held by men, also received the endorsement of EQNM.

Of Representative Garcia Richard’s nomination, Carver says, “In a state with incredible disparities in education, health, and economic opportunity the State Land Office has gone underutilized in efforts to achieve justice in those areas. EQNM’s endorsement of Stephanie is a signal that we need a new type of leader as Land Commissioner. LGBTQ+ New Mexicans need someone who can leverage the mandate of the Office to focus on the wellbeing of all our community members.”

Representative Garcia Richard’s questionnaire states, “For over 100 years, and even before that, our land has been rich in shared natural resources and we have not realized the full benefit of those resources.  We have sold off our interests to short term profit gain, making due with the piddling we get from those sales, protecting powerful interests, lobbyists and industries at the expense of our people and their welfare.  Now, we face an increasingly grim climate reality, health concerns, water scarcity, and a population that faces obstacles to healthcare access, quality education, economic opportunity; a population that faces generational poverty, addiction and cyclical violence and sees no one willing to stick up for them.  I’m running to change all that.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Equality New Mexico Announces Endorsements of Deb Haaland, Xochitl Torres Small; Incumbents Heinrich, Lujan 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM: In a first round of political endorsements for the 2018 election, Equality New Mexico, the largest LGBTQ political advocacy organization in the state, announced its support of Congressional candidates Deb Haaland (NM-1) and Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2), ), along with incumbent U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman and DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan. (NM-3).

Haaland is running for the open Albuquerque area Congressional seat being vacated by Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, and if elected, would be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress. 

Of Haaland's endorsement, Executive Director Adrian N. Carver said, "Deb Haaland has exhibited the ability to run a winning campaign in the primary and into the general election. In a crowded field, she maintained a clear advantage in our community survey because she has long advocated for the self-determination of LGBTQ+ New Mexicans. Aside from directly aligning on our issues, Deb has demonstrated an ability to raise the money necessary to win and out-organized her opponents to win the Democratic Party's State Convention. Not only can she win this race, but Native American women deserve representation and a seat at the table in Washington. We look forward to Deb breaking that ceiling and leaving the ladder down for future generations of Native women."  

Torres Small is running for the sprawling open Congressional District 3 seat in the Southern part of New Mexico. 

Carver said, "The vacancy created by Steve Pearce's run for Governor creates a unique opportunity in Congressional District 2. We must assure all New Mexicans are represented in Congress by people who support their families and want to see them thrive. I'm confident that 2018 is a year that Xochitl will replace Steve Pearce’s hateful rhetoric and deliver the representation LGBTQ New Mexicans in District 2 deserve.”

"While we have two open congressional seats, ready for new voices, we count Sen Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan as steadfast allies and among the strongest advocates for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans.”, says Carver, “Equality New Mexico has endorsed them both before and we’re proud to endorse both incumbents again.”

The endorsed candidates in contested primaries released the following statements: 

Xochitl Torres Small: "Equality New Mexico has been an amazing advocate for the LGBTQ community in New Mexico," said Torres Small. "Having partnered with EQNM while working at the UNM School of Law Clinic, I saw firsthand their commitment to ensuring that all New Mexican's civil liberties and rights were protected.  I am honored to have their endorsement, and look forward to continuing to work with them through the campaign and beyond."

Deb Haaland: "This endorsement is very personal for me, I've worked with EQNM for a very long time, and I’ll continue to work extremely hard to win this primary so I can champion equal rights for all and protection from all discrimination. In this Trump era, when too many people face increasingly hateful violence, we can't turn our backs for even a moment -- because if we do, Trump will continue to strip away the rights of our LGBTQ family. In Congress, I’ll stand up to Trump and his exclusion of transgender members in our military and I'll fight to make sure Title 9 protects everyone. It’s time that Congress works to truly address the oppression of our marginalized communities.”

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REPORT: NEW MEXICO MAKES PROGRESS IN LGBTQ+ EQUALITY IN 2017

State Equality Index Scorecard Gives Optimistic Snapshot of Equality for LGBTQ New Mexicans:

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM, January 8 - Today’s release of the Human Rights Campaign’s State Equality Index (SEI) report indicates New Mexico’s continued progress toward equality and self-determination for the LGBTQ+ community through 2017. Nationally, these scorecards look at statewide measures, both positive and negative, that affect LGBQT+ equality in 6 areas: parenting, relationship recognition and religious refusal, non-discrimination, hate crimes, youth, and health & safety.  

“The State Equality Index is an important reminder of the hard-fought wins we've had,” says Adrian Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM), New Mexico’s statewide LGBTQ advocacy and civil rights organization. “Regardless of what this federal administration or Congress tries to do, in New Mexico we have strong state-level protections for the rights and liberties for our community and our families.”

Changes from the 2016 SEI:

New Mexico’s score improved after Senate Bill 121, or “The Protect NM Kids Act,” sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Bernalillo) and Representative G. Andres Romero (D-Bernalillo), was signed into law by Governor Susana Martinez last April. The law prohibits the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy by licensed mental health providers with minors under the age 18, increasing the well-being and safety of all LGBTQ+ New Mexicans.

Looking Ahead in 2018:

Areas where New Mexico lacked significantly were laws and policies protecting LGBTQ+ youth, as well as LGBTQ+ inclusive health and safety laws and policies. EQNM is continuing its efforts to address these statewide gaps.  

“Equality New Mexico will, in the coming legislative sessions, fight for the inclusion of our communities in ALL policies. We'll step up the fight to ensure that New Mexico protects our students and families, that state workers are included in non-discrimination policies, that trans & gender non-conforming New Mexicans have full access to healthcare, and beyond", says Carver.

“In the upcoming legislative budget session, Equality New Mexico will be working to see the values of a ‘queer state budget’ reflected for the next fiscal year. A queer state budget means smart investments in education, the economy, health and wellness, civic engagement, and justice.” 

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In Honor of Lou: An Event to Benefit Equality New Mexico

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever. 

This autumn, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NMIn Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. The event is Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 6 pm at form & concept, with a $15 to $25 suggested donation. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

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Equality @ the Balloon Fiesta: Tickets on Sale

Please plan to join us for Equality New Mexico’s annual fundraiser, featuring the awe-inspiring Balloon Glow & Fireworks Show, music, cocktails & generous hors d'oeuvres—all from the best view in town!

Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Doors Open 5:30 • 6:00 PM Balloon Glow • 8:00 PM Fireworks Show
Free Parking!

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

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An open letter to our Members and supporters

An open letter to our Members and supporters

Dear EQNM Members and Supporters,

Times of transition are opportunities to make organizational shifts and be innovative. The boards of Equality New Mexico, 501(c)4 and the Equality New Mexico Foundation, 501(c)3 are proud of the growth and development of our work over the years. We continue to be excited for the refinement of our statewide role in intersectional community-based movements, outreach, education, and policy development. When faced with identifying new leadership for the organization, we took the opportunity to think about how we could be ground-breaking in creating an organizational model that would reflect our commitment to shared decision-making and distribution of power.

The challenge with making organizational shifts is that it can be hard to predict barriers to successful outcomes. For personal reasons Ophelia Hu Kinney has chosen not to begin her role as Co-Director of Programs & Outreach at EQNM. We ask that you respect her privacy in reaching this decision and direct any questions about this change to the board. We know that Ophelia will continue to be a leader in her community and we wish her well in her future endeavors.

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We originally hired Adrian N. Carver as Co-Director, Policy & Development because we were excited about his deep history in NM, statewide relationships, and the innovative ideas he presented to grow EQNM. Adrian is passionate about our communities and has devoted his life to advocating for all New Mexicans to be able to live with dignity, joy, and opportunity. We fully support his leadership and are excited to announce that we have named him Executive Director of Equality New Mexico and the Equality New Mexico Foundation, effective July 9th, 2017.

EQNM will continue to have bold ideas and vision as our work expands and grows statewide. We remain dedicated to our mission and vision while having an organizational structure that will sustain our statewide work and relations.  We have not given up on innovative leadership models and as we move forward, we commit to staying true to the values that led us toward the decision to make an infrastructure shift. We are prepared to work toward an organizational structure that will sustain our work, all of our staff, members, and community members. We remain committed to the values that drove us to select a co-directorship model and we are committed to finding ways to actualize those values within our existing structure.

Our intersectional movement is constantly changing, learning and expanding--which is why we must sustain and resist the institutional and societal actions designed to oppress us. We must be able to adapt to the needs of the community, and as board members, we believe that this change in direction is how we can best use our current capacity to continue uplifting the stories of New Mexicans and continue to fight for justice.

As such, we are happy to re-introduce you to Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico and the Equality New Mexico Foundation. We are incredibly excited for his leadership and innovation. Please direct any questions you might have about this change to info@eqnm.org.

Sincerely,

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The Equality New Mexico and Equality New Mexico Foundation Boards