Albuquerque Journal

Herrell ignores gay marriage rights query

- Ryan Boetel:

U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell didn’t respond to questions about same-sex marriage rights on Wednesday, a day after she voted against enshrining that right into federal law.

New Mexico’s lone GOP member of Congress was the sole state representa­tive to vote against the measure. Democratic Reps. Melanie Stansbury and Teresa Leger Fernández voted in favor.

The bill was introduced after a recent Supreme Court decision effectivel­y overturnin­g the federal right to abortion and allowing states to decide abortion rights and restrictio­ns. Democrats have said that, as a result, more legislatio­n is needed to codify such other rights as same-sex marriage and the right to obtain contracept­ion.

A total of 47 Republican­s joined all Democrats in voting for the House bill. Herrell was one of 157 GOP House members opposed. The bill ultimately passed 267-157.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, there are likely to be more bills voted on in the House that will force Republican­s to take a stance on such social issues as access to contracept­ion. That’s sure to put House Republican­s, especially those from such left-leaning states as New Mexico, in a tricky situation.

Herrell hasn’t said why she voted “no” on the same-sex marriage rights bill and her office did not respond to questions about her position on samesex marriage.

Stansbury, meanwhile, has been vocal about her support for same-sex marriage.

“Americans’ fundamenta­l rights are

under attack by a renegade Supreme Court — including not only abortion, but (also) marriage equality, contracept­ion and other rights,” Stansbury said Wednesday in a prepared statement. “We cannot allow an extreme Supreme Court majority to send us generation­s backwards.”

It’s unclear what fate awaits the samesex marriage bill in the Senate.

Herrell has already voted against a bill that would have guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide. But, unlike with this bill, she has been vocal on social media about her opposition to abortion and celebrated the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade.

The Supreme Court in a 2015 ruling created a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, but the court’s makeup has changed considerab­ly since then.

EMERGENCY ALERT: Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., joined eight other liberal senators in a letter to President Biden asking him to declare “the climate crisis a national emergency under the (National Emergency Act.)”

Such a move would allow the president to take such actions as building renewable energy systems on military bases, implementi­ng large-scale clean transporta­tion programs and financing energy projects, the senators said.

“Congressio­nal action to address the climate crisis appears to have stalled,” the senators wrote. “If ever there is an emergency that demands ambitious action, climate chaos is it.”

ABQ PROJECTS: Stansbury announced Wednesday that a series of government spending bills includes $18 million for 15 projects in central New Mexico’s 1st Congressio­nal District. The congresswo­man chose the projects after reviewing 200 requests for projects in her district.

Some of the biggest projects include $6.8 million for an Albuquerqu­e Sobering Center, $1.5 million for an Albuquerqu­e Homeless Youth Center, $1.5 million for the Sandoval County Animal Shelter, and $600,000 for an adult literacy and jobs training program in the Internatio­nal District.

“These community-funded projects will help address critical needs for housing, veterans’ homelessne­ss, behavioral health, economic growth and sustainabi­lity with key investment­s that support a more just, equitable and sustainabl­e future for all New Mexicans,” she said in a prepared statement.

 ?? Ryan Boetel ??
Ryan Boetel

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