The Tavares City Council on Wednesday approved creation of a domestic partnership registry.

The Florida city voted 4-1 to become the first in Lake County with such a registry. The registry will be set up by May 1.

Gay and straight couples who register their relationships are extended benefits such as hospital visitation, emergency notifications, jail visits and funeral decisions, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“The people I know, the people in this room, have been in long-term relationships, in my case 35 years,” said Dale Gruber, a resident who asked city officials in December to consider the registry. “Hasn't that been long enough to earn the safeguards of this ordinance?”

About 100 supporters wearing red shirts attended the meeting.

Vance Jochim, a conservative blogger, testified against the registry, saying the measure would make the city known as a gay-friendly community.

Councilman Norman Hope said the ordinance was important because Tavares is home to the county's jail and main hospital.

Several large Florida cities, including Orlando and Miami, have set up such registries.