My Brush With Celebrities

Jim Burroway

April 4th, 2013

That’s Kathy Snowden and Deborah Grier, the proprieters of Finders Keepers Antiques and Collectables, my favorite antique store in Bisbee, Arizona, which is saying something because tiny “Keep Bisbee Freeky” has quite a selection of antique stores and junk shops to chose from. Kathy and Deboray, who have been together for twenty years, are some of the nicest people you will ever know, and I was thrilled to see their photo illustrating this story in USA Today about how Bisbee wound up becoming a center of statewide and national attention in the battle for marriage equality:

Grant Sergot, 63, who is heterosexual and has lived in Bisbee for nearly 40 years where he owns Óptimo Hatworks, described Bisbee as a “well-informed and educated community.”

“Very independent-type people live here, free-thinking people,” he said.

Kathy Sowden, who has been with her partner for 20 years and owns Finders Keepers Antiques and Collectibles, said a civil ordinance seemed natural for Bisbee.

“We’re a border town,” she said. “We thrive on diversity. It’s not surprising at all that little Bisbee is the first to do this.”

(By the way, I also have two custom-fit hats from Óptimo Hatworks.)

The town’s Civil Unions ordinace was staunchly opposed by several of the town’s churches, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, and the Center for Arizona Policy (a Focus On the Family state policy council). But as Mark Hundley told the packed council chambers Tuesday, in answer to remarks made by some of those religious opponents, “I am not an abomination. It’s strange to have to say that.” The Bisbee council agreed, and voted 5-2 to make civil unions legal.

You can read more about what I love about Bisbee here. And maybe next time I’m in Bisbee, maybe I’ll finally break down and get that Roseville vase I’ve had my eye on at Kathy and Deborah’s shop.


April 4th, 2013


Yours is the only voice I’ve seen that has any publicity that acknowledges that Arizona *rejected* a gay marriage + civil union ban in 2006. When you posted the correction that Minnesota was not the first state to do that, I literally cheered.

Anyway, in 2006, the ban on marriage + civil union failed, and then the 2008 vote banned marriage but not civil unions.

Bisbee has civil unions on the table, so what is the Arizona AG’s objection? I seriously don’t get it.

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