Sedona to vote on same-sex civil union ordinance - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

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Sedona to vote on same-sex civil union ordinance

SEDONA, AZ (CBS5) -

Three Arizona cities already recognize same-sex civil unions: Tucson, Bisbee and Jerome.

Sedona will likely become the fourth Tuesday when the City Council votes on an ordinance allowing civil unions, regardless of gender.

"It's time to move on and do what we did with racism and equality of women and embrace everyone as equal," said Mayor Rob Adams in a telephone interview with CBS 5's Pat McReynolds on Tuesday morning.

"It is the right thing to do, in my opinion," Adams said

He said he has received only four emails and phone calls in opposition, three from visitors to the town and one from a local resident, who believe legally uniting a couple should be between a man and woman.

Adams said he respects that opinion, adding that he wanted to be clear that the ordinance "is not allowing marriage, just civil unions."

He said he also has not had a lot of feedback supporting the ordinance.

However, "If you are doing the right thing you don't hear a lot," Adams said.

"We travel worldwide, and we're recognized and we're seen as equal," said Sedona resident Susan Broude two weeks ago. "And, in other states, we're seen as equal. We really want to see it happen in our hometown."

Broude and her partner Tami Pivnick have known each other for nearly four decades and have been a couple for more than 14 years.

Since then, they have celebrated their love many times with civil unions in Vermont and New Zealand.

They've married at sea and are legally wed under Jewish law.

"Next month, we're going to California and we're going to get legally married," said Broude.

California's marriage certificate will provide Broude and Pivnick with federal benefits afforded to any married couple.

Now, their hometown of Sedona is getting ready to vote on a civil union ordinance – similar to ones passed in Bisbee, Jerome and Tucson.

"It's about the youth and it's about the adults that have been waiting so long for it," said Pivnick. "So, what an example of role-modeling this is."

Civil unions allow same-sex couples to list themselves as next of kin and visit each other in hospitals, for example.

Sedona Mayor Rob Adams said a civil union ordinance also sends an important message.

"Love is love, regardless if its two people of the same sex or not," said Adams. "And, so this is another statement that we're making here in Sedona about our core principles."

If the ordinance passes, Broude and Pivnick said they will file for a civil union in Sedona.

The couple said they would like to see more Arizona cities adopt similar civil union ordinances and eventually be able to have a marriage that's legally recognized by the state.

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

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