New Mexico Democrats wanted to recognize the LGBT community with a memorial for the state. However, the Republicans in the state legislature had other ideas and threatened to shut down the government if the proposal went forward.
This had led to much consternation among New Mexico LGBT activists, who have said it shows the anti-gay sentiments of the GOP.
Monica Hughes, a 35-year-old Sante Fe lesbian, told 429Magazine that by refusing to allow a memorial that showed New Mexico's commitment to its people and citizens, "is a sign of dark times still in the state."
She believes that by blocking the memorial, "Republicans are again showing their intolerance and inability to recognize the rights of all their constituents."
Republican Senator Bill Share said he would filibuster any effort to pass the memorial, while his fellow GOP Senator Bill Payne has proposed creating a gay day "certificate" for the LGBT community. And it appears they have succeeded.
Progress Now New Mexico issued a statement condemning the GOP efforts to block the memorial, saying it is a form of discrimination at the policy level and urged citizens to speak out in protest to the Republican threats.
"Akin to a certificate of participation you give to runners up in the elementary school field day, Republicans demanded gays be treated differently than dozens of other groups already recognized," said a statement from the rights group.
"New Mexico Republicans demanded second-class recognition for second-class citizens," it added.