Sedona City Council OKs civil unions in 5-2 vote - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Sedona City Council OKs civil unions in 5-2 vote

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Sedona passes civil unions ordinance (Source: CBS 5 News) Sedona passes civil unions ordinance (Source: CBS 5 News)
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SEDONA, AZ (CBS5) -

Sedona has become the fourth city in Arizona to embrace civil unions regardless of gender or sexuality - following Tuscon, Bisbee and Jerome.

The City Council passed the ordinance Tuesday evening with a 5-2 vote.

Councilmen Mike Ward and Dan McIlroy had the two dissenting votes.

Ward said he was unhappy with the wording of the ordinance, but supported what it aimed to do.

McIlroy said the issue of civil unions is something that should be presented to the voters of Sedona and that its 10,000 residents deserve to have their voices heard.

But Councilwoman Jessica Williamson quickly countered that, "You don't put civil rights up for a public ballot."

The ordinance allows domestic partners to list each other as next of kin and enables them to visit each other in healthcare facilities in Sedona.

City benefits will also be extended to an employee's domestic partner.

Sedona Mayor Rob Adams said what's most important about passing the civil union ordinance is that it sends a message that the community supports equality and that "love is love," no matter your sexuality.  

Same-sex couples who attended Tuesday's council meeting agreed and said Sedona is making an important statement.

"We are so excited," said Susan Broude. "We are elated."

Her partner of 14 years, Tami Pivnick, said, "We feel very validated and incredibly blessed and grateful to have a council support this."

Marc Luckey said, "It's a very good first step, having the council come forward and recognizing us. So, that helps a lot."

His partner of seven years, Greg Luckey, said, "It creates more of a grassroots feel toward those of us being able to get the equal rights and be granted the equality that everybody else in the country and state enjoys."

Of the dozens of people who attended the council meeting, only three spoke out against the ordinance.

But they quickly left once it passed and didn't speak with media.

Sedona's civil union ordinance will go into effect in 30 days.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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