Attorney General/Bisbee meet on civil unions - Tucson News Now

Attorney General/Bisbee meet on civil unions

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The state attorney general's office and Bisbee town officials have agreed to write a new ordinance which meets the needs of the town and does not violate state law.

In a meeting at the Attorney General's office in Phoenix, which included the lawyers for 12 Arizona cities and organizations, the state reached what he described as a "complete agreement."

The Attorney General Tom Horne held a press conference following the meeting,

He says the conclusion is the town of Bisbee was not trying to supercede state law when it passed a civil union ordinance which violated state law in several areas.

Horne says he's not expressing an opinion about civil unions but a charter city has certain restrictions on what it can allow.

"They can't give rights that are the purview of the state," he says.

Those are the rights people enjoy as a married couple like life insurance benefits, inheritance and adoption as spelled out in state law.

He says the new ordinance will not give anyone new rights, they will have the same ones as always when it comes to contract law concerning property, writing a will or family issues.

He says that this will give the couple an opportunity to put into a contract things they believe are important.

With all the conversation on the matter, it will likely insure some people in the community will put their agreements in a legal, binding contract which will be recorded by the city.

Arizona voters passed a same sex marriage ban in 2008.

"This is not about marriage," Horne says.

"This is simply a way of publicly recording the wishes of couples," he says. "The agreement is more symbolic rather than substantive differences.

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