If approved, the ordinance would mean people in civil unions would be considered spouses in several different legal situations.
Tuesday evening the Bisbee City Council is scheduled to vote on a proposed ordinance that would legalize civil unions between same-sex couples. According to the Associated Press, if the measure is passed, Bisbee would become the first city in Arizona to give same-sex couples the “same rights in the city as married couples.” The new ordinance is considered to be even more comprehensive than a measure enacted in Tucson in 2003, which recognizes domestic partnerships between same-sex partners. John MacKinnon, the Bisbee City Attorney, explained that if the ordinance is approved by the city council couples who enter into a civil union “would be considered spouses in such matters as property ownership and guardianship in cases of illness.”
Opponents to the measure, including a conservative Christian marriage-advocacy group claim the city can’t legally pass any measure that includes recognizing civil unions between same-sex couples. The Center for Arizona Policy, which is based out of Phoenix, said in a letter to the Bisbee City Council that the ordinance currently in question “would violate the Arizona Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage.” They also threatened a “costly legal fight” if the council voted to pass the measure on Tuesday.