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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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11/13/2013 9:59:00 AM
Civil unions pass unanimously in Clarkdale
Mayor Doug Von Gausig called it a
Mayor Doug Von Gausig called it a "great step for Clarkdale."

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter


Couples will be able to file civil unions in five Arizona municipalities come Dec. 12, the date Clarkdale's newly passed ordinance goes into effect.

With no one speaking for or against the ordinance, it was passed quickly during Tuesday night's council meeting in what Mayor Doug Von Gausig called a "great step for Clarkdale."

The ordinance, originally proposed by Councilman Curt Bohall, is the first to pass that addresses the issue of reciprocity, or recognizing civil unions from other cities and towns, Town Manager Gayle Mabery said.

An Oct. 8 council meeting allowed members of the public to provide input. Opponents said the ordinance was unnecessary because the town not only already provides employees benefits to couples regardless of gender, but is not home to any hospitals.

Cottonwood is considering reciprocity language in its own ordinance draft, meaning Clarkdale civil union certificates would be valid at Verde Valley Medical Center.

Clarkdale sampled from ordinances passed in Tucson, Bisbee, Sedona and Jerome, incorporating criteria for eligibility and a $50 fee to register with the town clerk.

Earlier Story

Clarkdale became the 5th municipality in the State of Arizona last night to adopt a Civil Union Code when their Town Council voted unanimously on the subject. The vote followed a worksession that was held on October 8, 2013 where the Council discussed the topic and reviewed the ordinances already adopted by the Town of Bisbee, the Town of Jerome, the City of Tucson and the City of Sedona. During the October 8 worksession, the Town Council gave direction to the town staff on the provisions they were interested in seeing incorporated into an ordinance for Clarkdale.

Sponsored by Clarkdale Town Council Member Curt Bohall, the purpose and intent of Clarkdale's ordinance reads as follows: "The Town of Clarkdale supports the right of every person to enter into a lasting and meaningful personal relationship with the partner of his or her choice, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the parties to that relationship. For that purpose, the Town of Clarkdale seeks to respect, support, and facilitate the rights of all persons to enter into contractual relationships and to designate agents, to the full extent permitted by the law, to manage their property, to make important life decisions, and otherwise to provide and care for loved ones within a meaningful and lasting personal relationship."

Individuals seeking to register a Civil Union with Clarkdale must complete and file a notarized affidavit on a form provided by the Town and pay a $50 fee. Upon receipt of the affidavit and payment of the fee, the Clarkdale Town Clerk will issue a Civil Union Certificate. To qualify to enter a Civil Union, two people must meet all of the following requirements:

1) Each individual must be at least 18 years of age;

2) The two individuals must not be related by blood in a way that would disqualify them from marriage pursuant to A.R.S. 25-101.A;

3) Neither individual may be presently married pursuant to Arizona law;

4) Each individual must be competent to enter into a contract; and,

5) Neither individual may be party to any existing civil union, domestic partnership, marriage, or other legally recognized domestic relationship with any third party.

The Arizona Attorney General's office issued an opinion earlier this year that cities and towns within Arizona may only include provisions in civil union ordinances which legislate on matters within the jurisdiction and control of the municipality. Clarkdale's ordinance complies with the Attorney General's position, and gives rights to registered civil union partners in the only two areas that cities and towns can legislate: hospital visitation and city/town insurance benefits.

Mayor Doug Von Gausig reflected on the adoption of the ordinance and stated, "Clarkdale is proud to join the growing list of communities that recognize that all people should be treated equally."

Couples who are interested in registered a Civil Union in Clarkdale may begin doing so on December 12, 2013, which is the effective date of the newly adopted ordinance. The Clarkdale Town Clerk's office is located at 39 N. Ninth Street in Clarkdale, and is open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am - 5:30pm and Fridays from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Related Stories:
• Cottonwood Council approves civil union registry


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Edward Broker,

You quote Jesus Christ in an attempt to prove that Christianity is all about Homosexual marriage? You and your ilk are truly misguided and even convoluted! Matthew was talking about money changers and self-promotion, not society rejecting homosexuality.

Christianity doesn't condone or promote abhorrent sexual behavior as something moral or wholesome, and neither does any other religion of the world.

Hypocrisy? How about pushing an agenda you know to be contrary to a healthy and prosperous community just because you think it might help to make it easier to convert children to your cause. Think 'Propaganda'!

Just because Hollywood Homosexuals are willing to wage jihad on the world in support of a 'Sexually Deviant Society', and thereby make it impossible for the majority of citizens, whom oppose your decadence, to not swirl down the toilet bowl into the cesspool of homosexualizing our world, that doesn't make you the authority on what's right.

Marriage is the bedrock of civilization, and your attempts to destroy it for everyone because the world refuses to accept homosexuality as some wholesome alternative, is nothing more than a form of retribution you wish to impose for said refusal.

Your attempted retribution is based on hatred and that is completely unacceptable. For this reason alone, your agenda has to be rejected.



Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Broker

Just this week we watched two news stories about men who killed their wives and children over a pending divorce. Sheriff Joe occasionally rounds up dead beat parents, mostly men, sending them to prison and forcing them to pay millions in unpaid child support. Paul Harvey used to say, "Ahhh. And rapists go free!" Yeah, that one is in the news this week too! Only 2-3% of the population is gay. Only 1/2 of 1% of households are same-sex. What's the big issue over gays and gay marriage?! Doesn't anyone care about the sad state of the "sanctified," holy matrimony between one man and one woman? Where's THAT outrage?! Or are anti-gay attitudes just a means by which to cover one's own sins? Is Jesus not talking about you here? �What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs�beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people�s bones and all sorts of impurity." Jesus. Matthew 23:27

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Paul Reed

Scott Carmichael has an interesting logic too bad it is not rooted in history. "Separation of church and state" is a Jeffersonian phrase used by our 3rd President in reply to a letter written to him by a group of Baptists in Danbury, CT. It has only recently (1940's) been resurrected. But its current useage is the opposite of Jefferson's. The concern was the government getting involved in the church, not the church having influence in the government. They didn't want to be marginalized by the creation of a state church.

We have more and more laws because citizens no longer restrain themselves. The cliche that "you can't legislate morality" is a truism. A society without an internalized moral consciousness is headed for more and more external restrictions (i.e. laws). That "marriage" is now a confused term is a symptom of the loss of that moral foundation.


Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

What exact statute gives Clarkdale the authority to vote on this issue. (None, Verde Valley leaders just make up the law as they go along.)

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ Paul Reed



Really? Like when CNN sent Anderson Cooper to cover the Pope's election in Rome. And cnn wonders why their rating are the lowest in history?


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Anna B.

@Ordinance is self-contradictory
Uhhh, no it's not. Those are the same rules that apply to ANYONE trying to get hitched legally.


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Agree with Paul Reed

I agree with Paul Reed.

Who of our elected officials has the courage to represent the many social conservatives who view homosexuality as inherently perverted and immoral sexual behavior?

As for the Pope, yes he says who are we to judge. But he is also very clear about being opposed to codifying homosexuality into our system of laws.


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Scott Carmichael

Paul Reed forgot the Constitution. Separation of church and State. And, yes, the door is now open for the government to stop telling people that they can't marry the person they love. Amazing to me that those that want smaller government always want more laws limiting the people.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: @ paul reed- first off- it's a town... -

and the fact that you are upset that nobody opposed it says more about you than the town or the fact that nobody opposed.

as the current pope says..who are we/you to judge?

Kudos to the good folks of the town and the many more to follow. if the citizens have to drag the state into the future on the issue then so be it.







Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Paul Reed

NO ONE spoke for or against! It absolutely amazes me that, in the entire city of Clarkdale, there is not one person or church that bothered to go to the council meeting and speak for the traditional and biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman. I know a civil union is not synonymous with "marriage" as it is currently being re-defined. But the door is open, and that will follow soon.

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Ordinance is self-contradictory

The ordinance states "Clarkdale supports the right of every person to enter into a lasting and meaningful personal relationship with the partner of his or her choice", then goes on to list 5 conditions when this is not the case.

So which is it? Every person, or just those that meet the criteria?


Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Alexander VanBooven

I have been waiting for this day for so long. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the Verde Valleys efforts for equality. My fiancé and I can now at least be a city recognized couple. THANKS AGAIN!!!!!



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