BISBEE - The Bisbee City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to approve a new version of a local law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.
The council had voted May 21 to formally propose a scaled-back version of the ordinance that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. In April, council members approved an earlier version of the measure that sought to give people in civil unions the same benefits as those in marriages.
But city officials decided to rewrite the measure after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne threatened to sue. Horne's office said he approves of Bisbee's new version of the ordinance and won't sue to try to block it.
A line in the original ordinance, which has since been omitted, said couples in a civil union would have the same responsibilities and benefits as married couples.
Under the new version, people who are in civil unions recognized only within the city of Bisbee could file contractual statements spelling out their agreed-upon "rights, obligations and expectations" in matters such as inheritances, property ownership and children.
Some of those agreements "may require additional documentation and other formalities" to make them effective under state law, the revised ordinance states.