Sunday, February 11, 2007

Check out Richardson

I lived in New Mexico for 10 years. During that time there was a Republican governor and then Bill Richardson, a Democrat. The difference was night and day for lgbt people.

When Bill was getting to run for Governor he invited various constituency groups to meet with him and tell him what our priorities were. For lgbt people, we said we had two primary priorities: hate crimes and non-discrimination legislation, transgender inclusive, that he would sign. He said he had no problem with those priorities. During the discussions, we asked for him to appoint lgbt people to state commissions and boards, including the university boards. In a second meeting we asked for domestic partnership benefits for state employees.

Well Bill ran over the opposition in his first election for Governor. During the first legislative session both of our bills were passed with some help from the Governor's office. These were brawls and involved lots of name calling and stall tactics, not to mention attempts by the stupid security people on the planet trying to kick some of us out of the building. That's another story for another day.

Anyway, there were signing ceremonies for both bills on the same day. So it was a day of jubilance in the Land of Enchantment, at least for a large swath of the state. At the evening ceremony, not only did the Governor sign the non-discrimination bill but he announced and signed an Executive Order giving domestic partnerships to state employees.

This was the culmination of many years of hard work by many people in New Mexico. Not all of them lived to see this day but all of it remains as a legacy.

Governor Bill Richardson gave his word and he kept his word. Please remember this when you look at the people running for President.

Here is a link to his speech at the DNC meeting.

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