On Monday, the Orlando City Council gave final approval to a gay-inclusive domestic partner registry, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The legislation, which won preliminary approval at a December 5 meeting, will give couples limited rights such as visiting a partner in a hospital, making health care decisions for an incapacitated partner and making funeral arrangements for a partner. The ordinance takes effect on January 12. Unmarried gay and straight couples can record their relationship at City Hall for a $30 fee.

“This is a historic event for Orlando, and it is a monumentally important event for our community,” said Mary Meeks of Equality Florida. “It will be the first time in our lives that our families are recognized by our government. At least here in Orlando, our relationships are recognized as real, and they are valued and they are accepted.”

Opposition to the plan was muted. One critic argued that the registry circumvented the state's ban on gay marriage, approved by voters in 2008.

“I hope you will realize you cannot condone what God condemns,” the Rev. John Butler Book said.

Orlando is following in the footsteps of several Florida municipalities in enacting the registry, including the cities of Miami and Gainesville and the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.