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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
December 7, 2007

Toledo mayor signs domestic
partner registry

Toledo--Ohio’s second municipal domestic partner registry became official on November 21, as Mayor Carty Finkbeiner signed the ordinance creating it.

The registry will take effect on December 21, allowing unmarried adults to sign up as domestic partners. While it does not carry the weight of law, it does provide a certificate that people can show to their employers to establish domestic partner benefits, or to hospitals if one partner is sick, to allow visitations.

Toledo Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair had urged Finkbeiner to reject the measure, claiming that it would weaken the institution of marriage.

He sent out a letter to be read in all Catholic churches in his diocese on November 18, speaking out against the registry.

“Our defense of marriage is meant to focus primarily on the fundamental importance of marriage for children, families and society, not on homosexuality or other matters,” he said. “I ask you to join me in opposing measures like the domestic partnership registry, particularly when there is little time for public discussion.”

City council had moved the measure through quickly, although there was a week between its introduction and its passage.

Blair pointed to the 2004 passage of a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage in Ohio, saying that city council acted in opposition to the will of the citizenry and the law.

However, the Ohio Supreme Court found that the Cleveland Heights domestic partner registry passed in 2003 did not violate the constitutional amendment since it carries no legal benefits. The high court has also ruled that the amendment only bars same-sex marriage and civil unions, not anything else.

Finkbeiner said that he received a lot of communications around the legislation but that it was split evenly between supporters and opponents.

City council voted 10-2 in favor of the ordinance on November 13. It was introduced by Councilor Joe McNamara.

 

 

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