The city of Toledo, Ohio has approved an ordinance which extends benefits to the partners of gay city workers.

The legislation, approved June 19, extends benefits to the partners of city employees – gay or straight – who have registered with Toledo's domestic partner registry, which started in 2007.

In introducing the measure, Mayor Mike Bell, who previously has not expressed support for gay marriage, said such benefits would help make the city competitive.

“What we're trying to do is bring our city, from the standpoint of human resources and affirmative-action policies, in line with what's happening nationally,” Bell said. “We're not the first train pulling out of the station here, we're actually in a way trying to catch up with the policies that make companies and cities competitive in the state of Ohio.”

Ohio cities Cleveland and Columbus have similar registries and offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees. Other cities, including Cincinnati, and counties – Cuyahoga, Franklin and Lucas – offer similar benefits.

According to gay bi-weekly the Gay People's Chronicle, domestic partner benefits are expected to add 1.4 percent to the city's benefits budget.