The Arizona Attorney General has agreed not to sue the city of Bisbee after city officials agreed to water down their ordinance. AZCentral.com reports:
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne withdrew his threat to sue the small southeastern city after its lawyers agreed to rewrite the controversial ordinance to remove rights Horne said were reserved for married couples as defined under Arziona law. The resulting language, which the Attorney General’s Office will help oversee, could provide a blueprint for other Arizona cities to confer some legal status on same-sex partnerships. Tempe City Council has sought legal clarification on civil unions following Bisbee’s historic vote earlier this month. Other city attorneys who sat in on the meeting with Horne, including representatives from Peoria and Marana, said their municipalities had no immediate plans to follow suit.
Voters clearly refused to enact the original ban on marriage equality in the state because it also banned civil unions. We wish the city had toughed it out and contested the AG’s empty threat.
In related news, the Texas AG, Greg Abbott, is pushing the same line in his state. The Dallas Voice reports:
Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion Monday saying domestic partner benefits offered by local government entities in Texas violate the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Abbott’s opinion, which is nonbinding, was issued in a response to a request last year from Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston. Patrick requested the opinion after the Pflugerville ISD became the first school district in the state to agree to offer DP benefits.
Even these conservative states will eventually change.