The Main Stream

Aug 2, 2013 9:16 PM by Erika Flores

A month later, only a handful of civil unions in Bisbee

BISBEE - When the civil union ordinance passed in Bisbee people expected couples to rush to city hall and register especially after so many heated debates about the ordinance, but so far only four have registered for a civil union two from Bisbee and two couples from out of town.

July 5 the Bisbee civil union ordinance went into effect.

Bisbee is the first town in Arizona to recognize same-sex couples giving them rights similar to married couples including health care visitation and inheritance.

The ordinance describes civil unions as a contractual agreement not a marriage between spouses.

It's almost been a month and only about a handful of couples have registered for a civil union, but city officials say they're not disappointed.

Kym Kennedy and Patricia Worth are the fourth couple to register for a civil union in Bisbee.

"We're actually part of American society and human and have some civil rights," said Kym Kennedy.

Kennedy and Worth have been together for 21 years.

They are originally from Oregon where they entered a domestic partnership, but they now live in Bisbee.

"I just think it's important to send a statement to the state," said Kennedy.

Kennedy and Worth were a little surprised to hear only four couples had registered for the union.

"I hope more couples come out and take advantage of it," said Kennedy.

Considering all the work put into passing the ordinance because although there were a lot of supporters, residents opposing the ordinance were also very outspoken.

"Most of the people that I do know feel fortunate to have that available, so I expect it to pick up," said Worth.

Councilman Gene Conners introduced the ordinance.

"I'm not disappointed at all. We did it for the right reasons," said Conners.

He tells News 4 Tucson many Bisbee couples have gone to California to get married, but he expects some to still register for a civil union here.
"Some are waiting for anniversaries to actually do it. I'm hoping the numbers pick up," said Conners.

The city clerk said she expects more couples to show up after their ceremony arrangements are complete.

Since July 19, eleven Tucson residents have applied for civil union status in Tucson.

Of the 1,125 couples already in Tucson's registry of domestic partnership, ten have applied for new civil union certificates.


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