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November 25th, 2008 By | News | Posted In: News, Public Policy, Family

Cleveland Mulls Partner Registry

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While the legal battle continues in California over whether voters can overturn a state Supreme Court ruling and re-criminalize marriage of same-sex couples, the rights of those couples actually are expanding in a few Ohio communities.

The city of Cleveland is considering the creation of a domestic partner registry, along with an ordinance to protect transgender citizens from discrimination. If approved by City Council, the registry won’t grant copies any legal rights per se, but will allow those who are living together and responsible for each other’s welfare to obtain a certificate from the city. The document, in turn, could be used to help secure benefits from employers and insurance companies.

If approved, Cleveland would become the third Ohio city to create a domestic partnership registry, after Cleveland Heights and Toledo. Like the other two registries, Cleveland’s would be open to non-city residents.

Cost to maintain the registry would be covered by certificate fees, which are proposed at $55 per couple. That compares to $50 in Cleveland Heights and $25 in Toledo.

Joe Santiago, an openly gay council member, proposed the measure. He has the support of at least 12 other members on the 21-member Cleveland City Council, which means approval is likely when it comes for a vote on Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, the battle over California’s Proposition 8 has taken another turn.

A state agency, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, announced Monday it will investigate a complaint that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to properly report the value of work it did to support Prop 8.

Prop 8 was approved Nov. 4 by just more than 500,000 votes out of 12 million ballots cast. The pro-Prop 8 campaign included massive amounts of cash pumped in by out-of-state groups like Focus on the Family and the Mormon Church.

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