Antonio Darden has staged the kind of protest only a man with scissors can.
At least three times, the gay salon owner has cut the hair of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who sports wispy bangs and a highlighted, layered bob. But Martinez, a Republican, opposes gay marriage, an issue that has made all sorts of headlines lately.
Seven states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage. New Mexico is not among them. Martinez has indicated that she wouldn’t support a domestic partnership law either, although the state provides domestic partner benefits to its employees.
So Darden decided to use the only sway he had.
“The governor's aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. "Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I'd changed my mind about taking the governor in, and I said no again.”
Darden, who runs Antonio's Hair Studio in Santa Fe, has been with his partner for 15 years.
“I think it's just equality, dignity for everyone,” he told the TV station. “I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together.”
The story did not include a response from Martinez, whom social conservatives recently lambasted for appointing an openly gay man to the state’s Public Regulation Commission, according to nmpolitics.net.
If the comments on the KOB-TV website are any indication, Darden's protest set off quite the kerfuffle.
“This is not a news story. This is another smear hit on Gov. Martinez,” one commenter said.
“It's not a smear on the gov,” retorted another, “but she will be having a lot of bad hair days.”