Civil Unions

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The Sedona Civil Unions Ordinance is a City law enacted September 24, 2013 and effective October 24, 2013 that provides a registry for civil unions for persons who wish to register. This is a means by which two unmarried persons who share a relationship of mutual support, caring and commitment may document their relationship. The civil union partners may provide a statement or list describing any additional documents, such as contracts and agreements that document the rights, responsibilities and obligations that the civil union partners have established. In order to prevent public access to private, personal information, civil union partners may not submit, and the City will not maintain, the contracts and agreements themselves. The statement of documents may include a description of agreements between the parties including:

  1. Agreements between the parties regarding the management and ownership of real and personal property.
  2. Agreements between the parties regarding the obligations that either or both may have agreed to assume regarding the existing children or other family members of one or both of the parties.
    Agreements between the parties regarding the obligations that either or both may have agreed to assume regarding prospective children of one or both of the parties.
  3. Agreements between the parties regarding the disposition of their property upon the death of either party.
  4. Agreements for resolving any disputes that may arise should the relationship dissolve, through alternative dispute resolution procedures or otherwise.
  5. Documents that establish any other rights or obligations that may be legally exchanged by and between the parties.

Who are civil union partners?

Civil Union partners are two people who sign a statement affirming that they:

  • are not related by blood closer than would bar marriage in the State of Arizona;
  • are not married to another person in a marriage expressly recognized by the State of Arizona or in any domestic partnership and/or civil union with another person;
  • are both 18 years of age or older;
  • are both competent to enter into a contract.

Is registration limited to gay or lesbian individuals?

No. The language of the ordinance is gender-neutral. Any individuals who meet the above qualifications may register a civil union.

How to register

Registrants may go to City Hall to register in person but must first schedule an appointment by calling (928) 282-3113 or may mail in their registration form to: City of Sedona, City Clerk’s Office, Attn: Civil Union Registration, 102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336-3710. The registration form is available at the link at the bottom of this page or may be picked up in person at the City Clerk’s Office. Each registrant must sign the registration form before a notary public. Registrants who turn in their properly attested registration statement in person at City Hall will receive a certificate of registration in person. Registrants who mail in their properly attested registration statement will receive a certificate of registration by mail.

Cost.  The cost of registering is $50.00. Checks should be made payable to the "City of Sedona".

Do we have to be residents of the City of Sedona in order to register as civil union partners?

No. Under this ordinance there is no requirement for residency within the City limits of Sedona.

Can anyone look up information, including address information, on who is registered as a civil union partner?

Yes. City records are open for review. However, the ordinance provides only that registrants list a mailing address, which may include an address c/o another person or a post office box, and thus registrants do not have to provide their home address.

What sort of legal rights and responsibilities will a civil union partner get in relation to his or her partner?

The ordinance lists three rights or benefits for registered partners in the City of Sedona: (1) a right to visitation of one's partner in a health care facility operating within the City, unless no visitors are allowed or the patient expresses a desire that visitation by the civil union partner be restricted; (2) all facilities owned or operated by the City, including but not limited to recreational facilities, shall allow the registered civil union partner of a user to be included in any rights and privileges accorded a spouse for purposes of use of and access to City facilities; and (3) to the extent authorized by law, any City employee who is registered with the City as a civil union partner may designate his or her partner as a beneficiary of any of the benefits provided by the City in the same manner as a spouse of an employee.

Because Sedona's Civil Union Ordinance is a City law, it cannot address or create rights, privileges or responsibilities that might be available to spouses or partners under state or federal law.

Civil Union registration is voluntary. The City of Sedona cannot provide any legal advice concerning civil unions. Applicants may wish to consult with an attorney for such advice. Partners should consult an attorney and/or make arrangements for a number of important matters, including but not limited to:

  • wills
  • medical matters
  • finances and powers of attorney
  • children and dependents
  • medical and health care employment benefits.