Killing same-sex unions (softly) in the Land of Enchantment

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.