As the Bisbee City Council prepares to adopt an ordinance tonight that would give same-sex couples the right to a civil union that provides the same legal benefits as a marriage, we can't help but wonder why the rest of the state isn't doing this.
After it passes as expected, the city will acknowledge same-sex spouses in matters like "property ownership, guardianship in cases of illness, and disposition of remains upon death," as the city's attorney, John MacKinnon, told the Associated Press. The union will be recognized only within Bisbee, a southern Arizona town of about 5,600 people.
The pending city law can be used as an experiment: If, by next month, fire and brimstone hasn't rained down upon Arizona, blotting it from the earth like the Old Testament deity did to Sodom and Gomorrah, then Arizona should adopt such an ordinance state-wide.
But maybe you're one of those people who think that a negative effect from such a law would be less dramatic, but present nonetheless. You're worried about the potential cost to the state's treasury, or maybe even what Jesus would think.
Either way, with Bisbee pioneering the course on this issue for the rest of the state, you may get the chance in the near future to decide whether Arizona should have same-sex civil unions or marriage.
Don't worry about the Defense of Marriage Act, whatever the Supreme Court decides. Arizona's voters and lawmakers do things their own way, as SB1070 and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act show.
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