Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Bisbee City Council is scheduled to cast a final vote Tuesday night on an ordinance allowing civil unions for gay couples. Bisbee council is poised to recognize civil unions.
Naturally, this has caused unhinged apoplexy among the "God hates gays" crowd, including Arizona Attorney General Tom "banned for life by the SEC" Horne. Geezus, hasn't this poster boy for political corruption been indicted yet? AG Horne threatens legal action against Bisbee over civil union vote:
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne warned Bisbee on Tuesday that his
office would take legal action against the city if council members
approve an ordinance tonight allowing civil unions for gay couples.
The unions would be recognized only within the city limits and would
grant rights given to a married couple, including property ownership,
inheritance, guardianship and adoption.
Horne opposed the measure in a letter to city officials, saying Bisbee doesn’t have the authority to offer such unions and that “the impact goes beyond (city) boundaries.”
"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 attempting to change a State statute within its
boundaries. 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."
Three Republican state lawmakers — Sen. Gail Griffin, of Hereford, and Reps. David Gowan and David Stevens of Sierra Vista — complained to his office,
saying that consituents had contacted them, expressing concern that the
proposed ordinance may be in violation of the state's constitution,
Wait for it . . . and there it is! Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy:
On Monday, a powerful conservative advocacy group, the Center for Arizona Policy, sent city officials a similar letter and threatened to sue the city if it allows civil unions.
Bisbee Councilman Gene Conners, who proposed the measure, said he
doesn’t believe the letter will deter the council. It supported the
ordinance unanimously in its initial vote. “I think there are a couple
of votes that might peel off,” he said. “But if it was easy, everybody
would be doing it.”
My friend, the late Bob Bland, former Cochise County Democratic party chair, would say "bring it on!" He would relish this fight. It's a shame he is no longer with us.
The Arizona Republic's E.J. Montini writes about this Effort to bully Bisbee:
Bisbee officials should have expected the drawbridge to be lowered
around the moat at the state capitol and the mob let loose upon them
with torches and pitchforks.
The Phoenix-based right wing Center for Arizona Policy and the
Republican legislators who cower before it are hoping to bully the town
of Bisbee into not passing an ordinance allowing for civil unions
between same-sex couples.
The Center had its attorney send a letter to Bisbee’s lawyer reading
in part, “…The Arizona Constitution and Arizona statutes recognize only
the marriages of one man and one woman. The City of Bisbee’s attempt to
do an end-run around those laws, by offering a marital-type relationship
with the benefits and responsibilities of marriage, is in violation of
this state requirement for charter cities.
“If the City of Bisbee enacts a law recognizing a quasi-marital
relationship not provided for by Arizona law, it will likely find itself
involved in expensive and time-consuming litigation, which it is likely
Bisbee’s ordinance, which is expected to pass tonight, would provide
same-sex couples with rights in terms of “property ownership,
guardianship in cases of illness, and disposition of remains upon death”
according to the city’s attorney.
Last week, Bisbee Councilman Ken Budge told me, “Our attorney looked
at it pretty hard. We’re not dealing with marriage. We’ll leave that to
the Supreme Court. But there is nothing in our law about civil unions.
Granted, our ordinance will only apply here, but it will take care of
our own citizens and it’s our way of making a statement. I refer to us a
blue dot in a sea of red.”
Where the CAP goes, so go the Republican politicians who supposedly
run our state, like Attorney General Tom Horne, who drafted his own
letter to the town of fewer than 6,000 residents. His office doesn’t
consider such action “threatening.” Oh, no. The big bad state going
after tiny Bisbee.
* * *
Bisbee’s ordinance would only be valid within city limits. But what
if it catches on? What if bigger and bigger towns enact similar
ordinances? Then a place like Phoenix?
What if the rest of Arizona suddenly got the urge to leave the 17th Century and travel all the way to the 21st Century?
It’s going to happen. No amount of lobbying will be able to stop it.
So whadaya say, Tucson? Are we going to let A blue dot in a sea of red stand alone against Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban of the CAP? Or is Tucson willing to link arms with Bisbee and enact its own civil unions ordinace? Are we ready to join the 21st Century? Are we ready to fight discrimination?