Local news: Bisbee, Mesa, Phoenix, Sedona, Tempe, Tucson

LGBT Rights in Arizona: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in November 2008. Arizona law does not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Arizona does include sexual orientation as a protected group covered by its hate crimes law, but not gender identity.

Current challenges to Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban: Connolly v. Roche, Majors v. Horne.

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University of Arizona seeks to boost transgender studies program

Thursday, September 5, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The University of Arizona is creating four tenured professor positions to expand its transgender studies courses. [ Read more → ]

Marriage equality initiative in Arizona goes dormant

Monday, September 2, 2013
PHOENIX -- An initiative campaign to have Arizona voters decide next year whether to legalize gay marriage has been put on hold amid reluctance by national and local advocacy groups to back the measure. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Congressman to ask feds to investigate anti-gay flyer as a hate crime

Monday, September 2, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. — A U.S. congressman is calling on Arizona and federal authorities to investigate a pair of controversial fliers attacking a school board member as a possible hate crime. [ Read more → ]

Former intern who helped save Giffords hit with nasty, anti-gay recall campaign

Monday, August 26, 2013
Daniel Hernandez Jr., the former intern credited with helping to save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life when she was shot in 2011 and now an elected member of a Tucson-area school board, is facing a nasty recall election in which his opponents are attacking him for being openly gay and for his advocacy on behalf of gun violence prevention. [ Read more → ]
Deborah Grier and Kathy Sowden

Bisbee couple becomes first in Arizona to enter into same-sex civil union

Saturday, July 6, 2013
BISBEE, Ariz. -- Deborah Grier and Kathy Sowden celebrated an historic day in Bisbee, Ariz., on Friday, becoming the first same-sex couple in Arizona to register in a civil union. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court rejects appeals in gay rights cases from Ariz., Nev.

Thursday, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Gay marriage advocates marked another victory Thursday after the Supreme Court rejected appeals from Arizona and Nevada involving the rights of same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
Tucson, Ariz.

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

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

Advocates launch campaign to repeal Ariz. ban on same-sex marriage

Monday, June 17, 2013
PHOENIX -- Gay marriage proponents launched a campaign Monday to change the Arizona constitution's definition of marriage a mere five years after voters approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in this month on the national debate on marriage equality. [ Read more → ]
John Kavanagh

Ariz. lawmaker says he’s giving up on transgender ‘bathroom bill’ this session

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
PHOENIX -- The sponsor of an Arizona bill targeting transgendered people who want to use bathrooms of the gender they identify with says he's giving up on the issue this Legislative session. [ Read more → ]

Ariz. town approves local law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
BISBEE, Ariz. -- The Bisbee, Ariz., city council has approved a revised version of a proposed local law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
Arizona Flag Closeup

Ariz. Senate advances bills favoring religious groups over secular community

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate on Wednesday passed a trio of bills that seek to lower property taxes for religious institutions and make it easier for some people to sue over the First Amendment, much to the chagrin of civil liberties and secular groups who claim Arizona lawmakers are violating the U.S. Constitution by favoring the faithful over non-believers. [ Read more → ]
Bisbee, Ariz.

Arizona mining town advances revised civil unions measure

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
BISBEE, Ariz. -- The Bisbee, Ariz., city council is moving forward with a revised version of an ordinance that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]

Arizona House passes bill protecting religious liberty

Thursday, May 16, 2013
PHOENIX — An effort to allow people to sue over potential violations of religious liberty cleared the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday despite opposition from civil liberties groups who warn the measure will inspire waves of lawsuits over alleged First Amendment violations. [ Read more → ]
Arizona Flag Closeup

Poll: Majority of Arizona voters now support marriage equality

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- After years of beating the drums against same-sex marriage, a majority of Arizonans now say they support marriage equality. [ Read more → ]
Tom Horne

Ariz. AG advises cities on what they can include in civil union ordinances

Monday, April 29, 2013
PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne called city attorneys to his office Monday to give them advice on what they can include in civil union ordinances without running afoul of a state law banning same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

Ariz. mining town puts civil unions on hold while it tweaks law

Saturday, April 13, 2013
PHOENIX — The City Council in the southern Arizona community of Bisbee will rewrite a recently enacted civil union ordinance after being threatened with a lawsuit by the state Attorney General's office, which said the ordinance ran afoul of a state ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

Lawmaker’s gay son doesn’t understand why people think his dad is a ‘bigot’

Monday, April 8, 2013
PHOENIX -- Matt R. Salmon, the gay son of U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), says it's hard for him to understand why people "jump to the conclusion" that his father is anti-gay. [ Read more → ]

Tempe, Ariz., city council to hear legal advice on same-sex civil unions

Thursday, April 4, 2013
PHOENIX -- Another Arizona city may consider whether to approve civil unions that could include same-sex couples. The Tempe City Council plans late Thursday to meet behind closed doors to get legal advice on civil unions. [ Read more → ]
Tom Horne

Ariz. AG says he’ll sue to block mining town from allowing civil unions

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will go to court to block the artists' community of Bisbee from implementing a newly approved ordinance recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples, his office said Wednesday. [ Read more → ]
Bisbee, Ariz. Source

Arizona town approves ordinance to allow civil unions for same-sex couples

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
BISBEE, Ariz. -- The city council in a former mining community-turned-artist's haven in rural southeastern Arizona voted Tuesday night to approve an ordinance to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]

Transgender Ariz. man denied divorce vows to keep fighting state

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
PHOENIX -- A transgender Arizona man whose divorce request was rejected after his marriage was declared invalid plans to keep trying to get his 9-year union dissolved, saying Tuesday that he wants the three children to whom he gave birth to know their parents' marriage was legitimate. [ Read more → ]

Ariz. congressman’s gay son does not change his opposition to gay marriage

Sunday, March 31, 2013
PHOENIX -- U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon says he isn’t ready to change his opinion on same-sex marriage, despite the fact that he has an openly gay son. [ Read more → ]

Sen. Jeff Flake doesn’t see himself evolving on the issue of gay marriage

Sunday, March 31, 2013
WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Jeff Flake says it is "inevitable" that his party will see one of its own run for president while supporting gay marriage, but doesn't see himself "evolving" on the issue anytime soon. [ Read more → ]
Thomas Beatie

Ariz. judge refuses to grant divorce for transgender man

Friday, March 29, 2013
PHOENIX -- An Arizona judge on Friday refused to grant a divorce for a transgender man who gave birth to three children after beginning to change his sex from female. [ Read more → ]

Ariz. House committee advances anti-transgender ‘bathroom bill’

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
PHOENIX -- An Arizona House committee has voted to advance a new version of a bill that previously would have barred transgender people from using public bathrooms not associated with their birth gender. [ Read more → ]
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