Arizona city could be first in state to allow same-sex civil unions

The Bisbee City Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday evening whether to make the artist's haven and tourist destination in southeastern Arizona the state's first city to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

If approved, the ordinance would give same-sex partners in civil unions the same rights in the city as married couples.

City Attorney John MacKinnon told the council on March 19 that approval of the ordinance would mean that two people in a civil union would be considered spouses in such matters as property ownership, guardianship in cases of illness, and disposition of remains upon death.

The ordinance states that Bisbee supports the right of every person to enter into a lasting and meaningful relationship with the partner of his or her choice, regardless of sexual orientation.