State lawmakers say no to marriage definition bill

Posted at: 02/05/2013 5:36 PM
Updated at: 02/05/2013 5:37 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

State lawmakers have shot down an attempt to restrict marriage to one woman and one man in the state of New Mexico.

The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee tabled the proposed constitutional amendment by a 3-2 party line vote with Democrats in the majority. It means that measure is almost certainly dead in this legislative session.

An overflow crowd jammed the hallways and filled the small committee room to capacity. Chris Donnelly was there to support the amendment, which would have let voters decide if the definition of marriage should be one man and one woman.

"First of all, "I'm a Christian and so I believe in the Bible," Donnelly said. "I believe God's word, from Genesis where God created one man and one woman for each other, to Revelation where it refers to one man and one woman being a marriage."

Ann Dunlap was there to oppose the amendment.

"We live in a country that is supposed to treat everyone equally," Dunlap said. "My partner and I are here today because we've been together for 32 years. We have five children and four grandchildren. We pay our taxes."

Last week the same committee voted to approve another constitutional amendment that would have let voters decide whether the state should grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That legislation passed by the same party line vote. If it meets with full House and Senate approval it will be on the ballot for voters to have the final say in the November 2014 general election.