Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller announced last week that his office will begin accepting applications for domestic partnerships a month before the law goes into effect on October 1.

Gay and straight couples can register as domestic partners from Monday, August 24 to September 24.

“October 1 will be a historic day in Nevada,” Miller said in a statement. “We would like as many couples as possible to be a part of it by having their certificates in hand.”

Registering with the state will cost a couple $50. A ceremonial certificate can be purchased for $15.

The Nevada Legislature passed the domestic partner law in June against the wishes of Governor Jim Gibbons, who vetoed the bill saying it was not necessary. The law offers couples limited benefits associated with marriage, including hospital visitation rights, estate planning and shared responsibility for debt. The law does not guarantee spouses health care and other employer-related benefits.

Opponents of the law argue that such unions are too similar to marriage and go against the will of Nevada voters who approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2002.

The law's sponsor, openly gay Senator David Parks, is expected to hand out licenses in Las Vegas on October 1.