Main | Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Small Arizona Town Approves Civil Unions

The small Arizona town of Bisbee (population 6000) legalized civil unions last night. At least, they say they did.
The City Council pushed aside legal warnings from the state’s attorney general and a conservative advocacy group and voted 5-2 to become first city in the state to offer civil-union certificates for all couples that would extend to same-sex partners some of the same rights as married couples within the Bisbee boundaries. The ordinance, which goes into effect in 30 days, would cover joint property ownership, property inheritance, guardianship and adoption rights.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who was exposed last year as an adulterer (by the FBI, no less) has fired off a letter to town leaders.
“The ordinance seeks to change seven separate State statutes within the boundaries of the city, dealing with issues such as community property, inheritance of property, and appointment of personal representatives,” Horne said in a news release. “The only proper way to change a statute is through the Legislature, not through actions of the City Council.  I emphasize that I am not expressing any opinion on the policy of the ordinance. My job is to enforce the laws that exist and I am obligated to respond to complaints from state legislators.”
The right wing Center for Arizona Policy also sent Bisbee a letter. Theirs threatens to bankrupt the town in a lawsuit.  (Tipped by JMG reader Homer)

RELATED: Last year Horne filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court, demanding that Arizona be allowed to repeal domestic partners insurance for state employees. In his suit, Horne claimed that rescinding benefits for gay employees would be good for Arizona tourism because doing so "furthers the State’s interest in promoting marriage."

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