Columbus on Wednesday became the sixth
Ohio city to offer a domestic partner registry.
The registry recognizes gay and
straight unmarried couples as domestic partners.
“This registry removes the
administrative burden on the business and public institutions to
define and certify the existence of a relationship,” Democratic
Mayor Michael B. Coleman said in announcing the registry. “This
confirms that and verifies that. And this verification is needed for
matters such as health insurance, hospital visitation rights and
authorization to pick up children after school.”
“This is a huge, symbolic moment for
us, for our relationship and for the city that we love and we live
in,” Lauren Kinsey, who was among the first couples to register
with her partner Shannon Cross, told 10TV
Similar registries in Cleveland and
Cleveland Heights have faced strong opposition. An effort to stop
Cleveland's registry from taking effect failed. Cleveland Heights
was unsuccessfully sued over its registry, which opponents said
violated the spirit of Ohio's 2004 constitutional amendment banning
the state from recognizing gay couples with marriage or civil unions.
Other Ohio cities with registries
include Athens, Toledo and Dayton.
While the registries offer no
guaranteed benefits whatsoever, employers could use them to
administer domestic partner benefits.