Today, myself and fellow activist Janice Devereaux met with Rep. David C Chavez to have discussion about his "Super-DOMA", legislation he introduced in New Mexico this year that would have let the voters decide on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Having heard that he was very set in his views, I really did not go into this expecting much. As a matter of fact, I expected to be asked to be fed rhetoric and anti-gay crap before being asked to leave. On that, he did surprise me, but not in a good way. Mr. Chavez actually refused to give us any of his own opinions or views on why he thought marriage was not for same sex couples. He said that he expressed his opinion during the committee hearing and would not go into that today. Instead, he wanted to hear our views on it. We both expressed our views about discrimination, separating church and state, the immorality of a majority voting on the civil rights of a majority. We continued to press him for a reason why he is championing this legislation. He told us it was something some of his constituents asked him to do, so he did it. He then went on to say that this is nothing new since other legislators have introduced similar legislation in the state for years. When I asked him how many constituents asked him to do this, he backslid a bit and said it wasn't about numbers, and that some constituents asked for it as well as colleagues of his. I then asked if a group of his constituents asked him to introduce legislation that would repeal key aspects of the Civil Rights act, would he introduce it just because he was asked to? He refused to answer on grounds that it was a hypothetical. We spent just over 10 minutes in his office discussing this, but it was clear that all he would give us was procedural talk about how legislation comes about, and how it is voted on, which we already knew. We ended it since there was not going to be any chance of any type of intelligent (or otherwise) debate on the issue itself. Janice actually ended by stating she wanted the right to have as many ex spouses as any heterosexual person (a direct jab at Mr. Hypocrite himself, a two time divorcee)!
This was one of the most frustrating meetings I have been a part of. I would have preferred the anti-LGBT rhetoric to him simply refusing to state his opinion. It is widely known how homophobic this man is, and insiders in Santa Fe say he rarely holds back on expressing his views or opinions on any issue! With that being said, one can only surmise that he was intimidated by having two queers sitting in his office, and didn't have the gall to give us his own views. In wrapping things up, he said that we will simply have to agree to disagree on this. I told him that would be completely OK with me if we were talking "red or green", however, when it comes to my basic civil rights, that is an inexcusable comment. He shrugged. Meeting over. Did we accomplish anything today? On the surface, no. Ultimately, though I hope we were able to show him that the LGBT community is not going to sit quietly and continue to let him try and harm us. I do hope he loses his bid for state senate, and also sincerely hope that others in this great state will continue to call him on his shit if and when he is in office again!