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