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been withdrawn by its sponsor, Representative David Chavez.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
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.