Viewing entries in
Blog

It's a Wrap! Suite of LGBTQ+ Bills Signed into New Mexico Law

Comment

It's a Wrap! Suite of LGBTQ+ Bills Signed into New Mexico Law

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the last of four LGBTQ+ specific bills into New Mexico lawWhen implemented, these laws will have significant impacts on many members of our community. We are incredibly proud of the progress we achieved together for New Mexico this year. 

Here are the LGBTQ+ specific rights and liberties you can soon expect:

1. Sex designations will be easier to correct on birth certificates. Beginning June 14th, the Vital Records Modernization Act will allow New Mexicans to correct the sex designation on their birth certificates without having to undergo expensive, invasive, unnecessary, and discriminatory surgery. Designations of M, F, and X will be permitted. 

2. No New Mexico business will be able to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (also implemented June 14th). Prior to the passage of the Non-Discrimination Equality Act (which passed UNANIMOUSLY in both chambers before being signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham), there was a loophole that allowed small businesses (with 14 or fewer employees) to discriminate. 

Show your support for these changes by donating to EQNM now!

3. Schools will become safer for LGBTQ+ students. By July 1st all New Mexico schools must show proof of changes in their bullying prevention policy that comply with the Safe Schools for All Students Act. These changes must include protection of both sexual orientation and gender identity, improved reporting procedures, and the use of uniform definitions.

4. Single-occupant public bathrooms will become more inclusive. The Gender-Neutral Restrooms Signage Act requires that, by June 14th, single-occupant restrooms in public places have gender-neutral signage. 

Additionally, we worked on two bills that aren’t traditionally LGBTQ+ priorities but which have an impact on our queer and trans communities. From those bills, you can expect:

1. Registering to vote will be easier. The Automatic and Same Day Voter Registration Act requires that beginning June 14th, New Mexicans visiting MVD or HSD offices be automatically asked if they'd like to register to vote or update their voter registration, AND they will be able to do so up to and including voting day.

2. Approximately 150,000 New Mexicans will get a raise in January and the minimum wage will be brought to $12.00/hour by 2023. The Minimum Wage Increase will help alleviate poverty, put more money into New Mexico’s economy, and honor the dignity of work for all New Mexico's workers. 

Thankfully, due to much hard work, you won’t see the effects of these two '“License to Discriminate” bills that we killed:

1. Healthcare non-discrimination policy will be protected. HB525 Healthcare License to Discriminate sought to remove non-discrimination protections. It was one of the most extreme, unrestrained attacks on trans and queer people, women, and science that we've seen and we were relieved to see it go.  

2. Similarly, HB600 Women’s Healthcare License to Discriminate offered yet another unrestrained attack on trans and queer ‘women’s’ healthcare. Thankfully, we were able to kill it in its first committee. 

Become an EQNM sustaining member to support our continued work to block dangerous bills like these AND move forward with protective bills that didn't make it through this year.

Although we worked very hard on the following pieces of legislation, they didn’t pass this year. With your support, we will continue to work hard on them:

1. Prohibit Gay/Trans Panic Defense was held up by the onslaught of legislation this year. This bill would have stopped the gay/trans panic defense from being used in violent crime cases. The use of this defense is the result of a decades-old idea that gender LGBTQ+ identities were mental illnesses. We know this is false and it’s high time this legislation was overturned — we’ll keep working to get this done.

2. Similarly, Permanent Protection for Abortion Access was tabled. This bill would have permanently protected access to abortion. We plan to double down on this work and make sure people in every corner of the state know why access to reproductive healthcare *is* in fact an LGBTQ+ issue.

We owe HUGE thanks to all our sponsors: Rep. Deborah Armstrong, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, Rep. Angelica Rubio, Sen. Elizabeth Stefanics, Sen. William Soules, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, Sen. Bill Tallman, and Sen. Peter Wirth.

Want more content like this delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up here!
 

Comment

Comment

We're growing!

Later this month Equality New Mexico is bringing on TWO NEW TEAM MEMBERS!!!  We need your help to meet our final goal to make it happen!

CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE!!!

With our team growing, we're going to have even more impact on the LGBTQ+ community in New Mexico, including:

  • Making our schools safe for ALL students
  • Launching our Queer Youth Advisory Council
  • Coordinating our Rural Communities Social Influencer media literacy program
  • Community organizing and volunteer recruitment

CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE!!!

Comment

Comment

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

Comment

13 Comments

Conversion Therapy: A Parent's Story

It was almost 20 years ago I learned my daughter Amber was questioning her sexual orientation. Amber wasn’t someone who would question something like this easily—I knew this was a deep, painful struggle for her, and I was terrified of what it meant for her life and our family.

13 Comments

5 Comments

Thoughts on Orlando, Part 2

As soon as I learned what happened in Orlando, I promptly began drafting emails and statements, designing social media graphics, and coordinating vigils and other demonstrations of support across the state and country.

5 Comments

2 Comments

Thoughts on Orlando, Part 1

I am angry that queer and trans people of color continue to be commodified and used as collateral to push a single issue policy. I am angry, and as a Queer, gender nonconforming Latinx, I am allowed to be angry.

2 Comments

Comment

A love letter to our trans community...

We are a privileged organization. As such, we take responsibility for ensuring that the privilege we are able to access is distributed to those most affected in our community. Recently, our Board of Directors decided to define the primary "community" we serve as those most affected by injustice and violence, and we are proud and resolute in our commitment to put our resources where they are most needed.

Comment