News Column

Gov. Martinez : Protesting Hairstylist Too Chatty for Her Tastes

Feb. 29, 2012

Geoff Grammer

Gov. Susana Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez said Monday that she will continue to fight efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in New Mexico despite the refusal by a Santa Fe hairstylist to cut her hair because of her opposition to marriage equality.

Martinez, who was in Washington, D.C., for a meeting of U.S. governors at the White House, told The Huffington Post that the recent attention paid to gay stylist Antonio Darden is a bit of a surprise because he isn't even her regular stylist, and she thought he was too chatty on the occasions when she did go to his salon.

"First of all, if reporters would ask me the first question, which would be, 'Is he my hair stylist?' The answer is no," Martinez told The Huffington Post. "He did my hair three times when I first moved to Santa Fe. But frankly he talked too much. ... I just went, 'You know, I go here to relax.' "

The Republican governor also questioned how far Darden would carry his protest.

"I guess this hairstylist would also refuse to cut President Obama's hair since he also opposes gay marriage," Martinez spokesman Greg Blair said in an email to The New Mexican.

Darden, owner of Antonio's Hair Studio, did not return a phone call Tuesday seeking comment.

Two weeks ago, the 46-year-old Darden left the Governor's Office a voice mail (hear that audio here) expressing his outrage at her stance on gay marriage and said he not only would refuse to serve her but hoped others in the Santa Fe area who work in the service industry would follow suit.

"If I'm not good enough to be married, I'm not going to cut her hair," Darden told The New Mexican last week.

On a guest book on the website for Darden's business (, there have been 67 messages left on the topic since Feb. 22, when the story was first reported by KOB-TV -- far more than in the previous two and a half years. The majority of them were supportive of Darden's position.

Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said last week that the Governor's Office did call local hairstylists, including Darden, several months ago trying to arrange a last-minute appointment.

"He only cut her hair two or three times about 10 months ago," Darnell said, adding that Martinez has a regular hairdresser whom she has been going to in Santa Fe for the past three months, "and someone that she goes to if she happens to be in Las Cruces."

Source: (c) 2012 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)

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