Toledo officials approve registry for gay, unmarried couples

Associated Press

Thursday November 15, 2007

TOLEDO Ohio - The City Council has approved an ordinance to allow gay or other unmarried couples to register their domestic partnerships as proof of eligibility for benefits such as health care.

Those who sign an affidavit at City Hall would receive a certificate and cards to provide employers as proof of an unmarried but committed relationship.

Supporters say the ordinance, which passed on a 10-2 vote Tuesday, does not violate Ohio's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. It is modeled after the only other one in the state, which voters in Cleveland Heights approved in 2003.

The registry also could provide a basis for people to visit domestic partners in the hospital and pick up children at schools, supporters said, noting that the city has a domestic partnership registry for police officers and firefighters who have negotiated benefits in their collective bargaining agreements.

Councilmen Rob Ludeman said he voted to reject the ordinance because of the cost to employers and because he saw it as "one more attempt to tear down the institution of marriage between a man and a woman."

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