The New Mexico senate finance committee tabled a closely watched domestic-partnership bill with a 7-4 vote on Monday night, effectively ending its prospects for 2010.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth of Santa Fe, would grant the rights and responsibilities of marriage to unmarried couples, gay or straight. It passed the house of representatives last year but failed in the senate by a 25-17 vote.
According to The New Mexico Independent, "The tabling vote strikes a blow to Gov. Bill Richardson, who made extending many of the same rights enjoyed by married couples to gays and lesbians part of his legislative agenda."
Senator Wirth predicted the bill would be brought back for consideration next year.