A lesbian couple on Friday became the first to enter a civil union under Bisbee, Arizona's newly minted law.

Kathy Sowden, 57, and Deborah Grier, 63, are the first couple recognized under the law, Reuters reported.

The women, together 21 years and co-owners of an antique store in town, paid $76 to receive their civil union certificate.

“I guess it feels like it sort of solidifies the relationship with the rest of the world. That's why we did it – because it does give you another level of security legally,” Sowden said.

Patting her heart, Grier added: “And there's a little extra happiness in here.”

The city approved a more robust civil unions bill in April. But after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne threatened to go to court to block its start, officials decided to rewrite the measure. Horne said some provisions of the measure were in conflict with state law. In particular, Arizona's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

The original version of the ordinance granted couples in a civil union the same responsibilities and benefits as married couples. That line has since been omitted. The current ordinance states that couples may file contractual statements in matters such as inheritances, property ownership and children.

Horne has said that he believes the new measure now complies with state law.

Bisbee, a former mining community-turned-artist's haven, is the first Arizona town to approve civil unions for gay couples. Roughly three weeks ago, Tucson became the second.

(Related: Tucson unanimously approves civil unions for gay couples.)