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Post submitted by David Martinez III, who serves on HRC Arizona Steering Committee as the co-chair of Community Outreach & Diversity Committee and is a member of the inaugural men’s track of HRC’s Equality Leaders for the 21st Century Program.

Once the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco and known as “the Queen of the Copper Camps,” the small town of Bisbee, Arizona has once again shown its richness by enacting a civil-union ordinance that is the first of its kind in Arizona.

In celebration, the Human Rights Campaign’s Arizona Steering Committee joined hundreds of revelers to the mining town-turned-artist-community for their annual LGBT Pride Festival on June 15, 2013.

With the HRC equality logo flying high along Main Street at the foot of the iconic Copper Queen Hotel, an iconic Victorian Era structure reminiscent of the Old West, Bisbee residents welcomed HRC with open arms and embraced our shared vision where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights.

Among the HRC supporters were 13-year-old Abby who learned more about HRC’s work for LGBT equal rights. With her mother’s support, Abby joined the chorus of Bisbee residents to speak at the City Council meeting in support of the civil rights union ordinance, which ultimately passed on a 5 to 2 vote.

As to why she spoke up and had the courage to become an LGBT advocate, Abby said she did so to show her support for her friends.

In a show of our support, HRC Arizona volunteers from as far as Phoenix drove more than 200 miles to engage Bisbee residents and applaud the small town’s trailblazing actions.

With a population just over 5,000, Bisbee’s dedication to equality has fended off a lawsuit threat from Arizona’s Attorney General and is inspiring other cities throughout Arizona to pass similar ordinances, including many which are utilizing HRC’s new Municipality Equality Index as a blueprint.

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