For the last few years, New Mexico has been close to becoming the first state between the coasts to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. Many Democrats in both houses of the state legislature support the idea, and as a presidential candidate last year, Gov. Bill Richardson pandered to gay audiences saying he would gladly sign such a measure.
So the prospects for civil unions looked promising when the legislature convened last month. All that was needed was for a majority of the state Senate Judiciary Committee to send the bill to the floor. The 11-member committee was divided, five in favor, five against, leaving Albuquerque Democrat Bernadette Sanchez with the decisive vote. With the opportunity to cast a decisive vote in favor of expanding American rights — or defending traditional values, depending on your point of view — what did Sanchez do?
She took a walk. TWI’s sister site, The New Mexico Independent, has “the anatomy of the dodge” that killed gay civil unions in the Land of Enchantment.