Maplewood City Council passed an ordinance creating a domestic partner registry last Monday by a vote of 4 to 1. Maplewood becomes the 6th city in Minnesota to pass a registry following Minneapolis, Duluth, St. Paul, Rochester and Edina. Bloomington, Richfield, Golden Valley and Robbinsdale are also considering adding such registries in their municipalities.

“The process has been relatively low key,” said gay city council member James Llanas. “There are a few, vocal minority who would disagree on anything we did. It is an amazing opportunity for everyone, every family to be recognized as equals.”

The ordinance allows same-sex couples to register their relationships with the city. The move is largely symbolic since state law prohibits municipalities from offering domestic partner benefits to their employees, but can be helpful for businesses that offer such benefits.

OutFront Minnesota says that Golden Valley is set to consider a registry on Tuesday:

The Golden Valley City Council will take up consideration of a domestic partner ordinance at their next meeting on Tuesday, November 16 at 6:30pm.

These ordinances provide couples — same-sex or different-sex — the ability to document the existence of their relationship in a way that makes it easier to secure benefits voluntarily provided by employers, health clubs, and other businesses. OutFront Minnesota also supports domestic partner registries because they show that local governments are taking the lead in demanding legal equality for all couples.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.