In brief: Same-sex union vote defies AG of Arizona
Bisbee, Ariz. – A small artist settlement in southern Arizona became the conservative state’s first city to allow civil unions between same-sex couples, voting in a new ordinance and defying a threat from Attorney General Tom Horne, who promised to take legal action if the measure passed.
Late Tuesday night, Bisbee City Council members voted 5-2 to allow what gay marriage supporters see as the next best thing, adding a section to its city charter that clears the way for civil unions in their town of about 5,600 residents.
The Bisbee ordinance, which allows for a form of union regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple, would be effective only within Bisbee and would impact certain benefits and policies within the city itself.
Before Tuesday’s vote, Horne issued a letter to the City Council stating that the ordinance, if passed, would be unconstitutional. He threatened to initiate legal action to stop it.
Panther in captivity returns to the wild
In the Florida Everglades – A Florida panther rescued as a kitten has made a rare run back into the Everglades.
The 2-year-old male panther poked its head out of a crate and then sprinted several hundred yards down a gravel road before disappearing into the brush Wednesday in Palm Beach County.
Wildlife officials rescued the panther and its sister in September 2011 after their mother was found dead. The kittens were raised at the White Oak Conservation Center. The female panther was released in February.