.New Mexico citizens are holding their collectives breaths right now. A bill legalizing domestic partnerships has made it's way out of committee and is now on the House floor. It is expected to be very close, but should the Lt. Governor need to cast her vote to break a tie, she has already announced that she will vote for the bill. The Senate is thought to be an easier path, so if the bill makes it there, it is likely to be passed. The governor has also vowed to sign it into law when it reaches his desk.
Opponents say this is a "step toward legalizing gay marriage." So what? I personally think marriage is overrated and unessential to happiness. Too many people thing being married assures a happily-ever-after life, but statistics show that is certainly not true. I'm sure most of you know be well enough by now to know that I favor this bill. I like it because it addresses all the citizens of the state, gay or straight, giving us the option to make choices that suit our own lives. Forget for a moment the testy issues of gay marriage. I've said before that I would probably never marry again. I possibly might choose to cohabit if I found someone I thought I could tolerate full time. If I should take either path, I would want that person to have certain rights should I choose to have him make end of life decisions for me, to be present with me during crisis, etc. I should be able to choose who has these privileges whether that person is married to me or not, whether that person (and myself) is gay or straight, whether our physical relationship is intimate or not. If I have chosen to share my life with a person, that person should have the right to share everything in my life, and vice-versa.
I'm less worried about the end of life financial issues. Those can be taken care of with legal documents, a will, a trust, joint ownership. I'm concerned about the issues of life while my feet are still hitting the pavement of my journey here on earth, being able to completely care for myself and whoever I choose to be my partner. For me, the ability to insure my partner isn't a factor, but if I were a few years younger it would be important.
This issue has been batted around for a long time here in NM. It hasn't passed in the past, but if it makes it through the House today, it will be a big step into the reality of today's world. What in the world are we waiting for? The bottom line is that this is a bill about ending discrimination. It needs to be.
**** Well, damn. It was just announced on TV that the bill failed in the Senate. However, there is another bill in the House that is being debated. I'll keep you posted.