The Tucson City Council on Tuesday
unanimously approved an ordinance recognizing civil unions for gay
and lesbian couples, becoming the second Arizona city after Bisbee to
“This was an important step for us to
take and we're going to keep seeking steps to reinforce
Karin Uhlich told colleagues. “I think there's been widespread
support throughout the community and people are really pleased to see
it pass. I hope that the Supreme Court rules in the support of
marriage equality and that the country starts to turn the corner on
that form of discrimination.”
Gay couples who enter a Tucson civil
union will receive far fewer rights than married couples receive.
However, a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining
marriage as a heterosexual union blocks the city from going further.
The ordinance grants civil unioned couples the right to file
contracts of inheritance rights, power of attorney and living wills.
The move comes a day after a newly
formed group announced that it planned to put a question on the 2014
ballot asking voters to repeal Arizona's marriage ban and allow gay
couples to marry.
launches campaign to repeal Arizona's gay marriage ban.)
In 2003, Tucson established a domestic
partnership registry for gay couples.