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July 27, 2012

Columbus partner registry gets a hearing this week

Columbus--The domestic partner registry announced last month by Mayor Michael Coleman, council president Andy Ginther and councilor Zach Klein was slated to have its first hearing on July 26.

The hearing was before the development committee of Columbus City Council. Coleman, Ginther and Klein announced their intent to introduce the registry on June 8. Klein is the chair of the development committee.

The registry, if it passes, will be the eighth in Ohio. None of them carry intrinsic benefits, but can be used to indicate a relationship to employers for domestic partner benefits, to hospitals for visitation and other things.

Cleveland Heights voters passed the stateís first domestic partner registry in 2003. That was followed by Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, Yellow Springs, Athens and Dayton, which opened theirs on June 1.

Coleman was among the second wave of Ohio mayors to sign onto the Mayors for Marriage Equality campaign, put forward by the national Freedom to Marry organization during the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in January. Colemanís name was mistakenly included in the first batch of mayors to sign on; it was later removed, then re-added when the second batch came out.

The first Ohio mayor to sign was Edward Kelley of Cleveland Heights, followed by David Berger of Lima. They were joined by Coleman, Sara Drew of Stow, Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Cantonís William Healy, Clevelandís Frank Jackson, Gary Norton of East Cleveland, Mike Summers of Lakewood, Charles Sammarone of Youngstown and Akronís Don Plusquellic.

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