Arizona

Apr 2, 2013 9:52 AM by Associated Press

City council in Arizona to vote on civil unions

BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) - A conservative Christian advocacy group says a former mining community-turned-artists' haven in rural southern Arizona can't legally recognize civil unions that would include same-sex couples.

A letter from the Phoenix-based Center for Arizona Policy says an ordinance scheduled for a Tuesday night vote by the Bisbee City Council would violate the Arizona Constitution's ban on same-sex marriage, and would be the subject of a costly legal fight.

If approved, the ordinance would make Bisbee the first Arizona city to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples, giving them the same rights in the city as married couples. The ordinance is reportedly more comprehensive than a Tucson measure enacted in 2003 that recognizes domestic partnerships.

Bisbee City Attorney John MacKinnon has said the ordinance's approval would mean people in civil unions would be considered spouses in such matters as property ownership and guardianship in cases of illness.

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