St. Louis Park passed a domestic partner registry on Jan. 18 over the protests of some in the community who thought the ordinance would violate their religious rights. And last week, Richfield passed a similar ordinance on first reading. It will need a second reading on Feb. 8 in order to become law. St. Louis Park has become the eighth Minnesota community to pass such a registry and Richfield is poised to become the ninth.

“As OutFront Minnesota continues to advocate the cause of full marriage equality for same-sex couples, we welcome the news of communities across Minnesota taking a stand and doing what they can for their families, friends and neighbors who are wrongly discriminated against by state and federal law,” OutFront Minnesota said in a statement following St. Louis Park’s passage of the domestic partner registry. “We applaud the action of the Saint Louis Park City Council and thank the dozens of Saint Louis Park residents who voiced their support for this measure.”

The city council got several letters opposing the measure.

“We’re constantly working to expand civil rights in this country and leaning forward and being progressive,” Councilmember Phil Finkelstein told the MN Sun. “This won’t affect anyone’s personal interests. This won’t affect their rights to practice their religion. As my wife says, ‘we’re all God’s children.'”

In Richfield, two city council members voiced their opposition to the proposed ordinance, which passed it’s first reading last week.

Council Members Tom Fitzhenry and Fred Wroge want the state, not Richfield to enact domestic partnerships, according to the Richfield Patch.

Domestic partner registries have been passed in Minneapolis, Duluth, St. Paul, Rochester, Golden Valley, Maplewood, Edina, and now St. Louis Park.

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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, 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.