Tiny Bisbee, AZ To Issue Civil Union Certificates

Jim Burroway

March 21st, 2013

Gay-friendly Bisbee, Arizona

The city council of Bisbee, Az, a rough old mining town south of Tombstone that has since re-emerged as a vital arts community (pop. 6.000), has given its initial, unanimous approval to an ordinance that would allow any two unrelated, unmarried adults of any sexual orientation to enter into a civil union. According to the Sierra Vista Herald:

The City of 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 the particular sexual orientation of that partnership.”

City Council members reviewed the language of an ordinance Tuesday night that opposes discriminatory practices against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people and offers them the same rights as any married couple.

The ordinance continues: “The City of Bisbee will exercise its inherent powers of self-government. as established under its city charter, to attempt to lessen the impact of these discriminatory practices upon all citizens within the (city limits)

The City Clerk’s Office would issue civil union certificates for $25, and would be given the rights of a married couple within the city of Bisbee. Because of the geographic specificity, this appears to be similar to domestic parnership registries which are in place in other cities like Tucson and Phoenix. But by calling this arrangement a Civil Union, the city council is sending a strong message about the city’s commitment to marriage equality. Arizona’s constitution prohibits same-sex marriage, but is silent on domestic partnerships or civil unions.

In 2010, Bisbee was named the gay-friendliest city in Arizona, and it remains one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations. You can read more about why I love Bisbee here.


March 21st, 2013

I’m just having too much fun imagining that that really is a population figure of *very precisely* six, no missing or extra thousandth of a person anywhere.


March 24th, 2013

I visited there once in and the late 1970’s with my grandparents (I was a teenager). My grandmother and I toured a copper mine. She talked fondly about that for years afterwards as one of the most interesting and fun things she’d ever done! She even insisted we get our picture taken wearing the miners hats and had it professionally framed.

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