Post submitted by Christopher Cooke, HRC Western Regional Field Organizer
Earlier this month, HRC’s Western Field Director Hope Wisneski and I visited the high desert state of New Mexico. We met with HRC’s coalition partners, including Equality New Mexico, GSA Network and the ACLU of NM. We also had the opportunity to sit down with Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who has sponsored multiple bills to advance LGBTQ equality.
Senator Candelaria is the sponsor of Senate Bills (SB) 121 and 120. SB 121 protects youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” which is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. SB 120 modernizes the state’s gender marker change process for birth certificates by removing the existing requirement of gender-affirming surgery. SB 121 and 120 have both passed the Senate and are currently in the House.
Another bill moving in New Mexico this session is SB 115, sponsored by Sen. Soules and known as the Safe Schools for All Students Act. This bill would require school districts to develop and implement LGBTQ-inclusive bullying prevention policies and programs. The implementation of this bill would foster a safe learning environment for all children while helping them reach their full potential without fear.
HRC is committed to working with Equality New Mexico and other coalition partners to help advance laws to protect LGBTQ people in the great State of New Mexico.