Monday, February 1, 2010

Support SB 183 Domestic Partnerships

Support Domestic Partnerships - SB183

It is about caring, responsibility, and commitment.

Domestic Partnerships legislation helps ALL New Mexico Families. It provides basic legal protections and recognition of same-sex couples relationships and their families under New Mexico law. This could include senior citizens or disabled people who are in committed relationships, yet through marriage one or the other would lose their social security benefits. This bill does not reference marriage and has a religious exemption.

With this legislation, registered domestic partners would have the following rights and responsibilities:

Health & Insurance:

· To be eligible to receive health insurance benefits through a partner’s employer.

· To take family medical leave to care for a partner, a partner’s child or a partner’s ailing parent.

· To receive automatic priority to hospital visitation and end of life decision-making with a domestic partner.

Family Relationship:

· To be obligated to support each other and any children born or adopted during the domestic partnership.

· To have equal rights to manage and control property earned and accrued during the domestic partnership.

Death & Inheritance:

· To have decision-making authority for the disposition of a partner’s remains & funeral arrangements.

· To inherit from a partner in the absence of a will.

· To be automatically designated the personal representative of a domestic partner’s estate if he or she dies without a will.

· To have a right to a community property share of either partner’s employee pension earned during the domestic partnership, including survivor and death benefits.

Dissolution of a Domestic Partnership:

· To access the family court system for an orderly dissolution.

· To receive community property rights and obligations, allowing for a property division after separation that recognizes the contributions of both partners to the household.

· To be assured of financial support and heath insurance during a separation.

By denying same-sex couples, seniors, and people with disabilities in committed rela­tionships the same basic legal protections as married couples deprives thousands of families of the most important attributes of their labor – the ability to take care of and provide for their family members. This legal recognition keeps children safe in the event of crisis, brings financial and emotional security, and strengthens our community as a whole.