Tucson City Council approves civil unions ordinance

June 20, 2013

Tucson’s new ordinance granting civil unions to same-sex couples goes into effect in a few weeks. The Tucson City Council voted to change the city’s existing domestic partnership ordinance so that it includes civil unions. Bisbee was the first city in Arizona to recently approve civil unions, and now Tucson has its own ordinance that starts on July 18. 

It was introduced by Tucson City Councilmember Karen Uhlich. She said it goes beyond Tucson’s decade old domestic partnership registry ordinance that granted gay couples hospital visitation rights and equal access to city recreational programs.

 "It really provides couples with an avenue to officially register their union and also provide official record of the contracts and agreements and legal intentions that underline those unions," Uhlich said.

Uhlich said Tucson has a history of granting gay couples protections. She said in the 1970s, the city approved ordinances  that banned housing and employment discrimination, and it established one of Arizona’s first LGBT Commissions. 

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