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New Mexico Telegram » Courts, Featured, LGBT, Roundhouse » Sharer will introduce constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage

Sharer will introduce constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage

William SharerA Republican Senator who has in many ways become the face of the opposition to same-sex marriage in the state says he intends to introduce a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in the state.

Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, said that he intended to introduce such an amendment today but will now rework it to address points made by the state Supreme Court in their ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Mexico.

Sharer called the ruling “disappointing.”

Speaking of the amendment, Sharer said, “It needs to be written in such a way that the Supreme Court can’t jeopardize the will of the people. Clearly, we need to change our state constitution to define marriage.”

“Opponents to a state constitutional amendment fear the citizens of New Mexico and have denied the citizens of even having a voice in this great cultural debate of the say, in the debate over same-sex marriage,” Sharer said in a statement.

In the ruling, the court said that it does not matter whether a couple can procreate when they marry, an argument that Sharer has used before in opposing same-sex marriage in blog ” target=”_blank”>posts on his website.

Constitutional amendments do not have to be put on the call by the governor in a short 30-day session. Instead, if they pass each chamber, they will be put on the ballot and voters will decide whether or not to pass the amendment to the state constitution.

It would not have to go to the governor’s desk, although Gov. Susana Martinez has repeatedly expressed support for putting the question to voters, including after today’s state Supreme Court ruling.

This would not be the first time that Sharer will have introduced such legislation. In 2005 and each of the years from 2009 to 2011, Sharer introduced proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman. None cleared a committee.

In 2013, Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, and Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, introduced a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. It was tabled in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. An amendment by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, to do the opposite — to ask voters to put same-sex marriage in the state constitution — failed in the House Voters and Elections Committee.

Sharer urged opponents of same-sex marriage to “not despair.”

“Voters can change the State Supreme Court judges, they can change their State Legislators, and New Mexico voters could vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage is between a man and a woman, as it has been since our culture was formed,” Sharer said.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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13 Responses to "Sharer will introduce constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage"

  1. Warthog says:

    Mr. Sharer seems to be ignoring the fact that the most recent polls show registered voters in favor of permitting same sex marriage in NM. Perhaps these voters will de-elect him at the next opportunity.

    Soon enough I am sure the Supreme Court of United States will apply the 14th Amendment to this question and put it to rest once and for all.

    1. Ward Shrake says:

      Really what polls ? I was not asked. I think the issue should go up for vote. Great job I support the ban.

  2. ted tufares says:

    Just because “this is the way we’ve always done it”, does not mean this is the way we have to do “it” now. Why do people get married in the first place? Love, commitment…etc. making babies is way down on the list. Most people dont say “…hey lets get married so we can make babies…?!!!” They get married because they love each other.

    I say to Mr Sharer…go ahead put it in the ballot, your gonna lose.!

  3. Elizabeth Rockey says:

    Isn’t there a better use for your time and energy and funding? How about raising the literacy rate? Lowering the percentage of young people who drink? Better activities and support for youth? Feeding people healthy, affordable food? Developing jobs that pay a living wage? Shall I continue? I think not.

  4. Bernie says:

    Mr.Sharer, it seems, has a difficult time with being honest. He is on record as having said the issue was that the Dona Ana county clerk did not have the legal authority to interpret the state constitution. Now that the Supreme Court of NM has rendered a finding Mr.Sharer now changes his story. He is simply dishonest. His objection initially was the same as it is now, but he didn’t have the integrity to actually advocate for his belief. He tried to hide behind the legality of the issue. We don’t need more dishonesty in this state.

  5. JR Costello says:

    …and the Hateful, Bigoted, Discriminatory GOP wonder WHYYYY people are leaving thier party in droves…? Hmmm, whom can’t they alienate? Women, people of color, LGBT community…….and FYI Mr Sharer, Most people know of, or have a LGBT Memeber of thier family. …I guess NM has NO REAL Problems it can be Dealing with to actually HELP People???

  6. Phil says:

    Ted, it’s not even “the way we’ve always done it.” In one of his blog posts Mr. Sharer discussed multiple societies from around the world that he believed demonstrated that “traditional marriage” was universal. Unfortunately for him, his list included NW New Mexico’s own Navajos and Zunis, both of which traditionally recognized multiple genders beyond male and female (including female-identifying men and male-identifying women) and therefore observed multiple varieties of culturally-sanctioned marriage including many between people of the same physical sex. Mr. Sharer’s right-wing Judeo-Christian blinders about what is “natural” and “traditional” don’t even pass the sniff test in his own backyard.

  7. wayne says:

    Well, Mr Sharer….your stupidity is on display (again). The voters cannot amend their constitution to deprive an identifiable group (same sex couples) from a right enjoyed by another identifiable group (hetero couples) without there being shown a legitimate governmental interest and at least a rational basis for so doing. The “will of the majority” and “traditional values” have been held by the US Supreme Court to fail both tests. Before you misdirect the resources of your state’s legislature and waste taxpayers’ money, I suggest you learn something about the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the US Constitution. Until then, continue to confine your GOP agenda to the insertion of probes into vaginaa’s.

  8. Blue Sky Gal says:

    So if the language is changed to state that only people who can procreate can get married wouldn’t that mean that a woman past the age of bearing children would not be able to marry a man because she would not be able to procreate. What about women of childbearing age who cannot conceive, or men who are not able to impregnate their spouse? Would everyone need to have a fertility test prior to being allowed to marry? What about heterosexual couples who have specifically chosen to not have children? If he wants the language changed to people who can procreate it appears he thinks those who cannot should not be allowed to marry. Marriage is a legal contract. I have a marriage license. There is nothing in it that states I was required to procreate. Judges can perform marriages in courthouses and other venues. Why is Sharer against legal documents and sitting judges carrying out the fulfillment of those legal binding documents? Why doesn’t Sharer want equality for all the residents of NM? Does this have anything to do with his religious beliefs? If that is the case then again I must state that marriage is a legal contract between two people and judges preform marriages in courthouses and other locations on a routine basis. There is nothing in a marriage license that states people must be married in a religious building by a religious leader. I do not understand this person’s reasoning. He is making no sense. Marriage between two people of the same sex is not a life style choice. Homosexuals and lesbians do not choose to be gay. That’s what they are end of story. They’re people, human beings just like everyone else. They are not special needs. They are not damaged in any way. They do not make any impositions, or threats to married heterosexuals. They are tax payers just like the rest of us and as such deserve the same rights,and benefits as every other taxpayer. Why does Sharer want to waste precious time and tax payers’ dollars on trying to change this NM State Supreme Court ruling? He needs to be moving forward on issues that improve the quality of living for all NM residents. He also needs to be working towards issues that improve NM making it more attractive to companies looking to expand into other states, and professionals looking for a place to relocate to especially those in the medical and educational fields.

  9. Juan Carlos Holmes says:

    Yeah, this has nothing to do with the ruling at all; he’s just using that as an excuse to get some attention for his anachronistic viewpoints. The way I know the court’s ruling doesn’t matter is that Sen. Sharer has introduced this exact same constitutional amendment or a similar law at seven times since he took office; it’s never even gotten a committee hearing. Several other Senators and Representatives introduce it annually; it still hasn’t had made it through a single committee. Sen. Sharer has also introduced constitutional amendments or laws to essentially define all abortions as murder, force parental notification, ban Federal healthcare laws, create a regressive income tax structure, divert public school funds to private religious schools, and force businesses to allow guns to be carried on their premises whether they like it or not. Again, most of them never even got a committee hearing, and none of them became law.

    Just ignore his desperate cries for attention; that’s what most of the legislature does.

    1. MK Reed says:

      Thank you for providing this information about Sharer’s failed attempts to do this in the past. What a waste of taxpayer resources…

  10. MK Reed says:

    Hey, Bill Shearer! Quit grandstanding to make yourself look good to the low-information, Christian religious extremist elements of your voter base.

    Instead of wasting taxpayer money on this boondoggle, why don’t you get some major businesses with healthy business practices to come to Farmington? Their main industry is petroleum, mining, and coal, all polluting industries that extract non-renewable resources in the middle of Navajo and Apache territorial lands.

    Why don’t you expand Farmington’s mental health, and substance abuse treatment programs? Farmington and surrounding communities have one of the highest incidence of chronic drug and alcohol abuse in our state.

    Why don’t you get more medical care staff and facilities? Farmington sorely needs both.

    So, why aren’t you actually focusing on much of ANYTHING that would actually make the Farmington area a better place to live, and instead, you are proudly proclaiming your focus on a guaranteed-to-fail state Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage?

    Oh, wait, I know. Grandstanding about gay marriage takes very little effort, it gets you free exposure in the press, and it gives the low-information voter the mistaken idea that you are a “moral” person. HA!

    Farmington area residents: You deserve MUCH better than what Bill Shearer is peddling. Demand better from your representatives before you re-elect him to public office.

    Oh, and this statement shows just how little Bill Shearer knows or respects Native American partnering practices:

    “Voters can change the State Supreme Court judges, they can change their State Legislators, and New Mexico voters could vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage is between a man and a woman, as it has been since our culture was formed,” Sharer said.

    O RLY, Bill? “OUR culture”? Of whose “culture” do you speak?

    When you have actually taken ANY time to investigate the many types of partnering options practiced by many of the indigenous peoples across North, Central, and South America, THEN you might actually have something of value to offer to conversations on that topic, especially since you are sitting in one of the most heavily populated Native locations in the Continental U.S.

    You can go to the UNM Anthropology department and receive plenty of information about that from some of the nation’s top investigators of indigenous cultures. You could even take some classes, which you appear to sorely need.

    The indigenous peoples of this continent, and their ways, have been in place for thousands of years. “White man’s ways” are new, invasive, and disrespectful of both indigenous belief systems, and cultural norms.

  11. MK Reed says:

    Correction: I should have spelled “Shearer” “Sharer”. My apology for that typo.