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Tucson becomes second Arizona city to allow same-sex civil unions

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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TUCSON, Ariz. — The Tucson city council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve an ordinance allowing civil unions between same-sex couples.

The measure, approved by a vote of 6-0, is similar to an ordinance approved in Bisbee, Ariz., earlier this month.

Tucson, Ariz.

It allows couples to register a civil union with the city, expanding their rights related to inheritances, property ownership and guardianships.

Councilwoman Karin Uhlich had said that Tucson should do everything it can to expand rights for same-sex couples if the state and federal governments fail to do so.

“This was an important step for us to take and we’re going to keep seeking steps to reinforce non-discrimination,” Uhlich said at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I think there’s been widespread support throughout the community and people are really pleased to see it pass. I hope the Supreme Court rules in the support of marriage equality and that the country starts to turn the corner on that form of discrimination,” she said.

In 2003, the city passed a domestic partnership ordinance granting same-sex couples hospital visitation rights and recognizing partners as a family for purposes of qualifying for city services.

The city of Tempe is also considering a similar civil union ordinance.

Tucson, with a population of 520,000 residents, is the second most populous city in Arizona. The ordinance goes into effect in thirty days.

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