The Bisbee City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that recognizes civil unions for same-sex couples, giving the couples the same rights as married couples.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said Wednesday he will go to court to block implementation of the ordinance. Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says the planned lawsuit will be filed before the ordinance approved Tuesday night by the Bisbee City Council takes effect in 30 days.
Horne says he's not taking a policy stance against civil unions by planning to sue. He says the council acted outside its legal authority because state laws control things such as community property.
Bisbee City Attorney John MacKinnon says the city isn't changing state law and is acting within its authority.
The Sierra Vista Herald reports that Tuesday night's 5-2 vote in the former mining community-turned-artists' haven followed an emotional three-hour hearing that was attended by more than 100 people.
The vote makes Bisbee the first Arizona city to legalize civil unions. MacKinnon says the ordinance's impact would only apply to things within the city's control. He says those would include city personnel policies and the city cemetery.