This evening, the City of Clayton's Board of Aldermen introduced and passed an ordinance to create a domestic partner registry for the City.
Clayton is the 3rd Municipality in St. Louis County to create a domestic partner registry and will join Saint Louis City, Kansas City, Columbia, Jackson County, University City, and Olivette as municipalities in Missouri that have registries for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
"The City of Clayton has always worked to build an inclusive community that strives to improve our residents' quality of life at all levels," Mayor Goldstein said. "Building strong family units and protecting the rights of those in relationships is a part of that initiative. The registry can help strengthen bonds that are important to the welfare of our diverse city."
A domestic partner registry is not marriage; however, it does create a system where individuals in committed and caring relationships can make their relationship a matter of record. This would make it easier for couples to receive benefits such as hospital and jail visitation, employers' health insurance benefits, and access to recreational facilities.
A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director for PROMO -- Missouri's statewide advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality -- said of the vote, "Tonight's vote in Clayton marks an important step forward for our families." A.J. goes on to remark, "The City of Clayton goes above and beyond by championing and calling upon other municipalities in the region to recognize the value of our relationships."
Section 225.260 (c) of the ordinance states, "The City also encourages all others with whom Clayton registered domestic partners interact to join the City in recognizing such relationship in their dealings with either or both partners."
Passage of this domestic partner registry in Clayton is especially important coming in the same week as a same-sex couple being denied entrance into a City sponsored race in the City of Crestwood. The passage of the Clayton registry is a perfect example of how a City can celebrate and support all relationships.
The ordinance went immediately into effect after the vote; however, the details of when the domestic partner registry will be made available for public use has yet to be determined. The registry will be open to Clayton residents in both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, and the cost to register is $50.00.