Activists opposing a newly enacted gay rights measure in New Mexico have switched their strategy and will not try to block the law from taking effect on July 1. Instead, the focus will be on gathering enough signatures on petitions by July 2004 to force a referendum on the antidiscrimination law. That would give voters an opportunity to repeal it in the November general election. Organizers say there wasn't enough time to gather the required number of petition signatures to prevent the law from taking effect. To put the law on hold would have required petitions with signatures of registered voters totaling 25% of the state's 2002 general election turnout--almost 126,000 signatures--and Friday was the deadline for submitting them to the secretary of state's office.