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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

1/14/2014 12:35:00 PM
Editorial: Civil union debate now takes center stage in Camp Verde

For Camp Verde, civil unions are not a question of right or wrong but a question of timing.

Is this the necessary time to bring up this discussion?

The proposal of an ordinance to recognize civil unions is bubbling up in Camp Verde. In fact it was briefly on an agenda before it became clear there was not enough room to hold the people who wanted to be part of the last-minute discussion.

With no unwed couple pounding on the doors of Town Hall demanding recognition, the proposal appears to be a matter of going with the crowd.

The crowd being the other municipalities in the Verde Valley, as well as Phoenix, Tucson and Bisbee. The "crowd" certainly cannot include the residents of Camp Verde - because the residents of Camp Verde have not been asked.

With council being requested to jump on the bandwagon, with no pressing motive, it could kill the idea early and leave advocates with an even steeper climb when the issue is imperative.

In most of the other municipalities that have recognized civil unions - whether between heterosexual or homosexual couples - debate with the public was heated. Besides the expected religious opposition to the decision, many residents thought their councils were making a political or cultural statement that in fact changed little.

Such an ordinance in Camp Verde would be something similar. In fact, as proposed, examples are used from Sedona and Cottonwood ordinances.

Camp Verde might feel outside pressure from its nearest neighbors to join the cause, but that is hardly a strong reason to do so. For the acceptance of civil unions to really represent Camp Verde, the pressure should come from within the Camp Verde community.

If advocates for civil unions truly want to win hearts, a copycat ordinance asking only the opinion of seven individuals is not the way to do it.

Making the case for civil unions will take more grassroots work than that. The extra three weeks before the Feb. 5 meeting could help, but it will still take time. A lot of time.

Related Stories:
• Clarkdale Registers First Civil Union
• Cottonwood Council approves civil union registry
• Rep. Thorpe weighs in on Cottonwood civil unions
• Clarkdale Civil Union registration forms now available on the web

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