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New Mexico gay rights activists are pushing the state legislature to pass a domestic-partnership bill that failed to pass last year.
Supporters of the bill -- which would grant the rights and responsibilities of marriage to unmarried couples, gay or straight -- rallied on the steps of the New Mexico capitol building in Santa Fe Monday, according to KOB.com.
Last year the bill passed the state house of representatives but failed in the senate in a 25-17 vote.
"Passage of the legislation would be hugely significant for a couple who wants their relationship to have legal protections," Equality New Mexico's Linda Siegle told The New Mexico Independent last month. "People will be able to inherit without having a will. They'll be able to visit in the hospital and make decisions on their partner's behalf, just like spouses may do now. They'll also be eligible for state retirement benefits. And these are just a few of the benefits that married couples now have that unmarried couples do not."
New Mexico and Rhode Island are the only states with laws that neither permit nor prohibit same-sex marriage.