Okay, so that’s a far cry from the truth… but my little family was profiled on Channel 4 KOB news last night! We were featured in a story on two bills that are currently under review with the legislature in Santa Fe, NM that could have a HUGE impact on gay marriage in the state. We didn’t find out that we were selected to represent the gay community in the segment until around 4pm in the afternoon, so you can image our nervousness as the hours counted down to our interview. The interview took place in our home and lasted about an hour. We decided together that we didn’t want Grace to appear on camera with us but everything we discussed centered on her and how these bills would impact her little life as well as ours.
While we were very nervous (as you can clearly see in the video below), we are so glad that we made the decision to participate. This morning as I was driving to work, I thought about the fact that not so long ago, discussing gay rights and sharing with the community that you are gay in such a public forum, often meant losing your job, being cut-off from your family and possibly physical harm. Sadly, this still happens in many parts of the country every day, which is just devastating. More than anything, I am thankful that these outcomes are not our reality. This gives me hope for gay people that don’t have the support of their families, genuine job security and are left feeling unsafe in their communities.
My hope is that by linking a face and a story to the word “gay”, those New Mexicans who choose ignorance and stand in judgment will begin to realize that we are no different than them and that a family is a family. We are all beautiful, we are all New Mexicans and we ALL matter.
Before sharing the clip, I do want to clarify one thing that was a bit unclear in the video and article. Georgia and I were married in a symbolic ceremony on November 7, 2009 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Even when gay marriage gets passed in NM, we will forever consider this date our wedding day. Our legal marriage followed in 2010 in Van Couver B.C. and was a first year anniversary gift to my lovely wife. I figured that if a first wedding present is traditionally paper, why not get a marriage license. :)
Grace, when you read this post and watch this video years from now – please know that everything we have done to stand up for our family and everything we will continue to do, we do for you. Love, Mama & Mommy
Posted at: 01/29/2013 9:46 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
New Mexico lawmakers are expected to tackle the emotionally charged issue of gay marriage this legislative session. There are dueling bills that would have wide-spread impacts if either is passed.
State Representative Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) introduced House Joint Resolution 3, which would allow New Mexico to issue same sex marriage licenses. The bill also states that no church or religious institution would be required to perform a marriage ceremony or recognize the marriage for religious purposes if it conflicts with the church’s beliefs.
"I think it is critically important that the State of New Mexico acknowledge gay families and tell them that they are part of the social fabric of New Mexico,” Rep. Egolf said.
State Representative Nora Espinoza (R-Roswell) introduced House Joint Resolution 4, which would change the State Constitution to define a marriage between one man and one woman.
"I just believe in the basic foundation of marriage between one man and one woman,” Rep. Espinoza said. Espinoza added that she doesn’t believe in legislating what people do in their personal lives, but says she feels strongly about defining marriage.
Same sex couples in New Mexico are closely watching what happens in the legislative session. Albuquerque couple Kristin Orozco Roybal and Georgia Roybal married in Vancouver, Canada and celebrated their marriage in Cabo-San Lucas, Mexico with friends and family. But when they stepped back into New Mexico, the state did not acknowledge their marriage.
"Right now we have no legal rights whatsoever for anything,” Georgia Roybal said. “Everything we do as a family-- we have to take so many extra steps.”
Recently Georgia gave birth to a baby girl, Grace. The couple is saving money so that they can pay the attorney and adoption fees for Kristin to legally adopt Grace. The couple feels legalizing same sex marriages would ease the financial burdens they are going through.
"This touches us, it's so close to our hearts,” Kristin said. “It’s our family."
Both bills have hurdles in front of them.Rep. Espinoza has tried to pass similar bills banning gay marriage for years with no success, and the legislature hasn’t been able to pass a domestic partnership bill, much less a gay marriage bill, in its history.