Jerome, Arizona has approved an ordinance recognizing gay and
lesbian couples with civil unions.
Jerome is the second Arizona city after Bisbee to adopt such a
Mayor Nikki Check sponsored the measure.
“We had no town opposition, no one even showed up to speak on
behalf of it,” she the Verde
Independent. “It's actually more of a statement
than anything, but applies to anyone who works for the Town of
The town's code now states that it is “the right of every person
to enter into a lasting and meaningful personal relationship with the
partner of his or her choice, regardless of the gender or sexual
orientation of the parties of that relationship.”
Arizona voters in 2008 approved a constitutional amendment
defining marriage as a heterosexual union.
Attorney General Tom Horne threatened to go to court to block the
start of Bisbee's law unless the city omitted language in conflict
with the state's definition of marriage. The city removed a line
which granted couples in a civil union the same responsibilities and
benefits as married couples. The current ordinance states that
couples may file contractual statements in matters such as
inheritances, property ownership and children.
In its 1920s heyday, Jerome was home to more than 10,000 people,
most of whom worked in the city's rich copper mines. As of the 2010
census, Jerome's population was 444.
couple first to enter Bisbee, Arizona civil union.)