Toledo City Council has approved an ordinance making Toledo the first large city in Ohio to offer gay and other unmarried couples the opportunity to register their relationship with city hall.
Under the ordinance approved late Tuesday, couples who cannot or don t want to marry can register their domestic partnership with the clerk of city council.
The purpose of the registry is to create a centralized process that employers can use to verify relationships when they offer benefits that typically are offered for spouses and dependents.
The measure passed 10-2, with Councilmen Rob Ludeman and Joe Birmingham both Republicans and both set to leave office when their terms end this year casting the no votes.
Mr. Ludeman gave a detailed explanation for his position, saying among other things he thought it would create a cost burden on city taxpayers, that such a record-keeping function should be the county s responsibility, and that he had a personal view that it was an assault on the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.
The domestic partnership registry lessens the administrative burden on employers and others beginning to deal with providing rights to domestic partners that previously have been reserved for spouses. In addition to health benefits when approved by employers, domestic partners also enjoy rights in some cases to visit their partners in the hospital and pick up children at schools.
The other Ohio city with a domestic partnership registry is Cleveland Heights, on which Toledo s ordinance was based.
Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com