Tempe considers civil unions, following in Bisbee's footsteps

Tempe considers OK'ing civil unions, following in Bisbee's footsteps

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

Tempe could become the next Arizona city to approve an ordinance backing civil unions. Council members met behind closed doors to discuss that topic on Thursday.

This comes just two days after the city of Bisbee passed an ordinance approving civil unions.

After seeing what happened in Bisbee, this Tempe councilman felt it was time to act.

"At certain point you simply have to say I think everyone is equal and I have an obligation to act upon my convictions if I believe everyone is equal," says Kolby Granville, Tempe City Councilman.

First-term councilman Kolby Granville talked with the city attorneys during a closed door executive session council meeting Thursday. He hopes to get the Tempe city council to join Bisbee in giving some type of recognition to same-sex civil unions.

"If there is a colorable argument to be made, that is something that we can do in the cities and this is a right that we can grant our citizens, to let them know that we choose to treat everyone equally in the city of Tempe. Like Bisbee did, I think that is great."

Granville knows there may be opposition. Attorney General Tom Horne has already threatened to sue Bisbee, saying the council there essentially modified state law.

"They have no power to change those things. They are trying to change something they have no power to do and I am the chief law enforcement officer of the state. It is my job to put a stop to it," said Horne Wednesday night.

But despite Horne's threats, Granville is happy to put up a fight.

"It is exciting to have a little bit of influence and a little bit of an opportunity to say look, in the small world I exist in as a politician, here is the small bit I might be able to do. And if that is the case, I want to explore the limits of what we can do to treat people legally."

Because those executive sessions are secret, we probably won't know which way the council members are going to go until we see this issue on one of their future agendas.

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