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Former mayor hopes Tempe approves gay civil unions

PHOENIX — Tempe could become the second Arizona city to approve civil unions.

Former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano, who is openly gay, said it’s another step in the momentous change that has come in a very short period of time. He said Americans seeing a great cultural change with overwhelming visibility for people who are no longer in the shadows.

“We now have people who are not gay or lesbian standing up for their gay and lesbian friends; tremendous support from straight allies,” he said.

Giuliano said the battle over the issue is still being fought but the war will end someday when gay and lesbian couples have full access to what the government provides. He added that the government is supposed to treat everybody equally.

“The vast majority of Americans are moving toward full equality and I am hopeful the vast majority of Arizonan’s will get there too, but it may take a bit more convincing in Arizona,” he said.

Same-sex marriage is banned in Arizona, but Bisbee became the state’s first city to legalize civil unions earlier this week.