Gay and lesbian couples in Tucson now have some of the same rights married couples have following unanimous approval by the city council on Tuesday of a domestic-partnership registry, the Tucson Citizen reports. The registry gives unmarried couples the right to visit partners in health-care facilities in the city and qualify for city discounts, such as family rates at recreational facilities. The ordinance was drafted by the city's Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. "It [recognizes] that gay and lesbian people are more visible and are more willing to stand up and be counted," said Nancy Robinett, an attorney and cochair of the commission. "It's part of an atmosphere of more attention to the realities of gay and lesbian life in Tucson."
Kent Burbank, executive director of Tucson's GLBT support center Wingspan, praised the registry, which is the first of its kind in Arizona. "I am proud of the city council for helping to put Tucson again in the forefront in the state of Arizona," he said. Burbank said the ordinance is also important for committed heterosexual couples. "This is a chance also for their relationships to be recognized," he
said. To register, couples must fill out a form in the city finance department and pay $50. If the partnership is terminated, the couple must file a termination statement with the city at a cost of $10.