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Arizona Attorney General to challenge Bisbee civil union ordinance

Arizona Attorney General to challenge Bisbee civil union ordinance

CREATED Apr 2, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 3, 2013

Reporter: Justin Schecker

Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo

PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV/AP) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is questioning the constitutionality of the newly passed ordinance that recognizes civil unions for same-sex couples in the community of Bisbee.
   
Horne sent a letter to city councilors Tuesday afternoon warning that if passed, the ordinance would be unconstitutional. He also says his office would go to court to block it.

After the city council voted 5-2 late Tuesday night to pass the ordinance, now it is just a matter of how quickly Horne can assemble his case against Bisbee.  

It was standing room only at the meeting and unlike during the preliminary vote two weeks ago, the opposition was out in full force. 

"Satan is in control of this situation and he uses people to make his ends come to pass, but I am terribly disappointed," Regina Drybread told 9 On Your Side. 

Bisbee's gay community was also well-represented as city councilors cast their votes. 

"Being as old as I am, you don't ever expect things to fully change," Carol Park said. "Bisbee is a much more accepting community and I felt comfortable here."

Horne contends the ordinance attempts to change state law on things such as community property and only the state can change that law.

Bisbee City Attorney John Mackinnon will likely start preparing his defense of Tuesday's historic vote. He tells 9 On Your Side the ordinance is constitutional because it only applies to rights and benefits within the city limits.