Commentary: Today, New Mexico State Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) issued the following joint statement in response to the threatening messages received by fellow Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque) over the weekend:
“Threats against any member of the New Mexico Senate will not be tolerated by this body.
“We embrace diversity in our state and within the New Mexico Senate Chamber. This is what makes us strong. Having a Senator and his family targeted with hateful, homophobic language is a painful affront to everything we stand for. We condemn the attacks against Senator Candelaria and his husband, and reject the hate behind any actions directed at our members because of who they are or what they represent.
“The New Mexico Senate takes great pride in our spirit of inclusion and commitment to civil discourse. While disagreement and debate are important components of the political process, we treat each other with respect. The public sphere should be no different. Spreading hatred, sowing division and threatening violence because of ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious, ideological, or other personal differences must stop.”