June 5, 2013

Bisbee OKs New Same-Sex Union Ordinance, First in Arizona

State attorney general, who threatened to sue, approves this time; Council votes 5-2.

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Bisbee’s City Council approved a revised version of a law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples Tuesday evening.

The council voted 5-2 to allow the ordinance.

“It recognizes the relationship of any two adults regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” said Bisbee Mayor Adriana Badal.

The law will convey any rights Bisbee bestows on a married couple to those in a civil union, particularly power of attorney.

In April, council members approved an earlier version, but reconsidered when Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne threatened to sue.

“We made sure that it says in there that we are not trying to alter state law," said Mayor Badal. "That was the Attorney General’s biggest concern.”

Horne’s office says it approves of the new version of the ordinance, and will not fight it in court.

Bisbee officials hope to begin issuing civil union status to residents on July 8.

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