Local Activists Defeat Effort to Overturn New Mexico Gay Rights Law
Washington, D.C. July 2 - Yesterday, opponents of a 2003 New Mexico law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals from discrimination announced they had given up trying to place a referendum on the November ballot to overturn that law. A well-organized statewide campaign by New Mexico LGBT activists is credited with defeating this anti-gay attack. As a result, New Mexico became the first state this year to thwart efforts to put an anti-gay measure on the November ballot by voter initiative.
"Thanks to the extraordinary work of Basic Rights New Mexico, the people of New Mexico will not have to endure the ugly and divisive anti-gay onslaught facing so many other states this election cycle," said Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We are proud and honored to have worked with so many LGBT New Mexicans in this winning effort."
"This is a great day not only for LGBT people in New Mexico, but for all of the people of the state," said Linda Siegle, Campaign Committee Member for Basic Rights New Mexico. "It's wonderful to live in a state where people simply refused to support taking away basic protections from a minority."
Last April, New Mexico became the 14th state to extend non-discrimination protections to gay people and the third state to also cover transgender people. Immediately after the measure was signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson (D), conservative groups announced they would seek to overturn the law by ballot initiative. To get the repeal on the ballot in November 2004, they needed to gather approximately 50,000 valid signatures by today, July 2.