SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico’s legislature is considering a bill that would grant gay and straight couples domestic partnership.
The domestic partner bill, HB9, passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Jan. 17, the third day of the state’s month-long session. The final vote was 4-3, with all Democrats in favor of the bill and Republicans against it.
Before the House can vote on the bill it will also need to pass a vote in the Judiciary Committee.
If the bill is signed into law, it will allow couples to register for a certificate at their county clerk’s office. It would also provide them with many of the benefits of marriage, including hospital visitation rights.
A domestic partnership bill was also debated during the state’s 2007 regular and special legislative sessions and had the support of Democratic governor and former presidential hopeful Bill Richardson. Last year’s bill passed the House, but did not pass the Senate.