By Roz Brown
While lawmakers in many states have introduced legislation to roll back LGBTQ+ rights within their borders, New Mexico is not one of them, and advocates want to keep it that way.
Equality New Mexico has released its preferred list of candidates for the June 7 primary election. Equality Champions: State Auditor: Zack Quintero; Attorney General: Brian Colón; State Representative District 19: Janelle Anyanonu; State Representative District 42: Kristina Ortez; State Representative District 46: Andrea Romero
Endorsed Candidates: Bernalillo County Sheriff: John Allen; State Representative District 17: Darrell Deaguerro; State Representative District 26: Eleanor Chavez; State Representative District 38: Tara Jaramillo; State Representative District 39: Karen Whitlock; State Representative District 70: Anita Gonzales; State Treasurer: Heather Benavidez; State Representative District 41: Susan Hererra.
Marshall Martínez, executive director of the group, said people running for office are asked to complete an extensive questionnaire before receiving an endorsement. And with more and more attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, Martinez argued complacency is not an option.
“And we had some of those attacks in our session,” Martínez recounted. “We defeated them, but we have to keep working to keep electing the leaders that are going to defend us from those attacks when they come.”
New México is one of eight states to pass pro-equality measures in the past few years. It is also part of a coalition of 18 states announcing plans to introduce legislation they say will be needed to protect transgender kids from civil and criminal penalties when seeking gender-affirming care.
Based on a leaked draft opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Martínez sees it as another reason to elect reliable champions and allies who would allow New Mexicans to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives and destinies.
“We’re framing this election as being a crucial piece of the overall election this year,” Martínez noted. “Especially to protect bodily autonomy for folks who need reproductive health care access, abortion access, gender-affirming health care; all of those things.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 300 bills were introduced this year targeting the LGBTQ+ community nationwide.
Roz Brown is a Producer with Public News Service.
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