Lesbian Couple Together For 21 Years Become Arizona’s First Same-Sex Civil Union

bisbee-lesbian-civil-unionOn Friday, Deborah Grier and Kathy Snowden were the first couple to file same-sex civil union papers, finally giving their 21-year relationship legal recognition by the state of Arizona.

With a population of some 5,600 people, the small town of Bisbee is the first place in all of Arizona to legalize same-sex civil unions.  Though it’s not quite marriage equality, it’s a step in the right direction. Grier and Snowden are now eligible for certain rights and privileges of marriage, such as the ability to make medical decisions for each other.

“It’s not marriage 100 percent but it protects us a little more,” Snowden told ABC affiliate KGUN9 in Tuscon. “We’ve had friends who have had major problems when one of them has been ill.”

According to Bisbee’s City attorney, the city wrote the documents like a contract between Grier and Snowden, meaning their civil union is legal outside Bisbee and throughout the U.S.. In June, Tuscon followed in Bisbee’s footsteps when the city council voted unanimously to allow domestic partnerships and same-sex civil unions.

Proving the issue was contentious in Bisbee, opponents to the civil unions declined to speak to KGUN9 on camera for fear of being “harassed.”