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Sedona Approves Local Ordinance on Civil Unions

Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Sedona has become the fourth Arizona city to recognize same-sex civil unions.

The Sedona City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday night to allow civil unions regardless of gender in the red-rock country community in north-central Arizona.

One of the council members voting no told 3TV he was concerned allowing civil unions would hurt tourism. The other wanted the issue put to a public vote. They were overruled.

"I don't think you put civil rights to a vote," council member Jessica Williamson said during the meeting.

"It's all about respect, equality and being in the forefront," added Barbara Litrell. "I think Sedona should be in the forefront. We need to be bold."

The city's mayor and several council members cited gay friends or family members as the reasons for their yes votes.

Sedona's city attorney says the ordinance borrows from local civil-union laws already approved by Tucson, Bisbee and Jerome.

Provisions include a registration process and a city-maintained list of agreements that couples wish to register.

Sedona Mayor Rob Adams said approval of the civil union ordinance sends a message that love is love "regardless if it's two people of the same sex or not."

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