Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Greater Phoenix Chapter

Old Home Home Contact Us Upcoming
Church State Issues Report Church State Violations Join
Email List
Email List
Membership Donations Request
Facebook Meetup Links Send Letter to Editor


Church State Issues

Trying to bully Bisbee

Apr 3, 2013

Arizona Republic

In this article it sure sounds like Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Cathi Herrod's Center for Arizona Policy will do anything to prevent gay folks from having the same rights as all us other folks.

Posted on April 2, 2013 11:44 am by EJ Montini

Trying to bully Bisbee

Bisbee officials should have expected the drawbridge to be lowered around the moat at the state capitol and the mob let loose upon them with torches and pitchforks.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy will do anything to keep gay folks from having the same rights as the rest of us??? The Phoenix-based right wing Center for Arizona Policy and the Republican legislators who cower before it are hoping to bully the town of Bisbee into not passing an ordinance allowing for civil unions between same-sex couples.

The Center had its attorney send a letter to Bisbee’s lawyer reading in part, “…The Arizona Constitution and Arizona statutes recognize only the marriages of one man and one woman. The City of Bisbee’s attempt to do an end-run around those laws, by offering a marital-type relationship with the benefits and responsibilities of marriage, is in violation of this state requirement for charter cities.

“If the City of Bisbee enacts a law recognizing a quasi-marital relationship not provided for by Arizona law, it will likely find itself involved in expensive and time-consuming litigation, which it is likely to lose.”

Bisbee’s ordinance, which is expected to pass tonight, would provide same-sex couples with rights in terms of “property ownership, guardianship in cases of illness, and disposition of remains upon death” according to the city’s attorney.

Last week, Bisbee Councilman Ken Budge told me, “Our attorney looked at it pretty hard. We’re not dealing with marriage. We’ll leave that to the Supreme Court. But there is nothing in our law about civil unions. Granted, our ordinance will only apply here, but it will take care of our own citizens and it’s our way of making a statement. I refer to us a blue dot in a sea of red.”

Does Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne also hate gays like he hates medical marijuana users??? Where the CAP goes, so go the Republican politicians who supposedly run our state, like Attorney General Tom Horne, who drafted his own letter to the town of fewer than 6,000 residents. His office doesn’t consider such action “threatening.” Oh, no. The big bad state going after tiny Bisbee.

Horne said in a statement that he was acting on behalf of legislators representing the Bisbee area, adding, “I emphasize that I am not expressing any opinion on the policy of the ordinance. My job is to enforce the laws that exist and I am obligated to respond to complaints from state legislators. If the ordinance is passed, the Office will initiate a special action in the Courts to enjoin it.”

Sure. No threat there. No guts, either.

Bisbee’s ordinance would only be valid within city limits. But what if it catches on? What if bigger and bigger towns enact similar ordinances? Then a place like Phoenix?

What if the rest of Arizona suddenly got the urge to leave the 17th Century and travel all the way to the 21st Century?

It’s going to happen. No amount of lobbying will be able to stop it.

Young people these days don’t cower before stodgy old political hacks or the stodgy old lobbyists who pull their strings. They believe gay couples should have the same rights as any other couple.

They don’t carry pitchforks or torches.

Although there’s probably an app for that on their smartphones.