Interest in an upcoming domestic partner registry in Orlando is expected to be high.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, all 16 appointments at the City Clerk's Office available for the first day the registry takes effect were quickly snatched up by eager couples.

β€œI think there's going to be incredible interest. We're going to see a big surge in the beginning,” Equality Florida field director Joe Saunders told the paper.

The registry, which was approved by local lawmakers earlier this month, 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. Unmarried gay and straight couples can record their relationship at City Hall for a $30 fee.

β€œIt's not as many rights as marriage, but it helps couples during very difficult times,” said Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who pushed for the registry.

The first couple scheduled to sign Orlando's registry will be Sheehan and her partner, Jocelynn White.

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.