The City of Cleveland, Ohio is considering a plan to offer domestic partner benefits to city employees.

In 2009, the city approved a gay-inclusive domestic partnership registry which – despite offering no guaranteed benefits – became the subject of a legal challenge that claimed the registry violated the state's 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban. An appeals court last October upheld a lower courts' ruling dismissing the challenge.
Approximately 120 gay and straight couples have paid the $50 fee to register their relationship, Cleveland's Gay People's Chronicle reported.

Democratic Councilor Joe Cimperman introduced his ordinance on March 28.

Under the proposal, the city would provide health benefits to city workers' domestic partners.

Opponent have argued that the city cannot afford to offer such benefits.

“It makes sense that we offer this,” Cimperman told the paper, which is published every other week. “If you ask the other cities, the cost has been diminutive. What those cities tell you is that it has greatly improved their ability to attract talent.”

“If we can attract people while also doing the right thing, it's a plus-plus,” he added.

According to the paper, several of Cleveland's largest institutions offer such benefits, including Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Fairview Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, KeyCorp and University Hospitals.