A bill which sought to amend the New Mexico Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union has been withdrawn by its sponsor, Representative David Chavez.

Chavez's amendment sought to bar the state from recognizing gay and lesbian couples with marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, took some credit for Chavez's abrupt about face.

“HRC called on members and supporters to contact their legislators, as well as Rep. Chavez himself, to say that lawmakers should be focused on creating jobs and improving the economy, not hurting New Mexico's families,” Trevor L. Chandler, regional field organizer for HRC, said in a blog post. “According to a recent poll, a majority of New Mexico families actually support marriage equality – showing how out of touch Rep. Chavez's measure was,” he added.

Chandler linked his post to a December Public Policy Polling survey which found that more New Mexico voters (45%) supported legalizing gay marriage than opposed it (43%).

In previous sessions, New Mexico lawmakers have voted down bills which would have recognized gay couples with domestic partnerships.