New Mexico U.S. Senate candidate Balderas supports gay marriage
In an interview with KNME’s Gwyneth Doland, State Auditor Hector Balderas, who is running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, said he “absolutely” supported gay marriage.
“Absolutely. But more importantly than that, I’ve been advocating for civil rights for almost all my life,” said Balderas. “I’m an attorney, I was a prosecutor that fought hard for victims’ rights. So, any type of discrimination in this country really needs to be addressed swiftly.”
His opponent, Rep. Martin Heinrich, co-sponsored a bill in 2009 repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which disallows the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
In 2008, while running for the U.S. House, Heinrich said, “I am not supportive of gay marriage but I do believe that everybody in the United States has the same civil rights in front of the government.” He added, “So I think it’s important that civil rights that are available to heterosexual couples should be available to every single gay couple who also wants to make the same sorts of commitments.”
That is essentially President Obama’s position.
Former Rep. Heather Wilson, running for the Republican nomination, voted for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In 2006 she said marriage “is an institution we should protect and nurture. It is a union between one man and one woman, and it’s something we should honor in law and in our communities.”
In a Public Policy Polling survey released in early July, 42 percent of New Mexico voters indicated they thought gay marriage should be legal, while 49 percent said it should be illegal. However, when asked about civil unions and gay marriage, 37 percent said gay marriage should be legal, 31 percent said civil unions should be legal, and 30 percent favored no legal recognition for same-sex couples.
There is no legal recognition for same-sex couples in New Mexico.