Registration for Domestic Partnership
in U.S. State, County and City Locations
as well as in Selected Other Countries
© March 20, 2013, Demian


Domestic partner registration is a very recent development. The earliest registration appears to be for Berkeley, California in 1984.

As a social concept, partner registration owes its existence to the facts that America is the only industrialized nation in the the world that does not have universal health care, and same-sex couples have been forbidden legal marriage.

Without legal marriage, there was no method by which to measure any sort of relationship between same-sex couples and the families they create.

Many domestic partner registrations provide no status or benefits of any sort. They only make a declaration of relationship. However, some employers take this as indication that they can be eligable for workplace benefits.

Many domestic partner registrations provide a status or limited number of direct benefits, however, legal marriage triggers 150-350 rights and responsibilities in every state, and more than 1,138 rights on the federal level.

Registration fees and benefits vary widely, and are subject to change. Couples typically pay between $15-$73 to register. Some fees are the same as legal marriage fees, but do not trigger the same rights and responsibilities. The majority of registrations include same-sex as well as unmarried opposite-sex partners.

Many of the registrations only have symbolic significance. In fact, registration may be more harmful should courts interpret them as creating joint financial liability, thereby imposing responsibilities of marriage, without its benefits.

Registrations are entered into public records and therefore are usually not confidential. The only registrations we know to be private are from Boulder, Colorado, and New York City. Since New York State now offers legal marriage, same-sex couples in New York can opt for a full civil marriage.
      [Please see our article: New York Offers Legal Marriage]

Some companies offering benefits require unmarried employees to get registered only from the city in which they reside. While this removes the burden of devising benefit requirements or guidelines, it creates inequities. For instance, Delta Airlines offers frequent flyer award transfer to a same-sex partner only if they live in a city with a registration. Because most American cities do not offer registrations, this benefit is nonexistent for many couples. Also, it could be assumed that a couple would loose their awards should they move.

Some couples have told us that they have been able to parley their registration into reduced membership fees at various private businesses. These appear to be randomly offered benefits, and not promoted by these companies to the general public.

Application for registration is usually made at the city/county/state licensing bureau or board of health. With increasing frequency, registration applications are posted on the city and county Web sites. Some can be mailed in, others require in-person filing.

Most municipal Web sites publish information and forms concerning their registration process, however, some make it very difficult to find the information. Unfortunately, there are also many that do not publish the information at all.

I have attempted to locate, and have posted all the Web sites we could find, in order to make it easy to obtain information and proper forms. If they are not listed, it is because they were obscured on the Web sites, or the municipality simply did not post any information regarding registration.

For instance, in September 2007, I could not find any information on Atlanta’s Web site on their “Domestic Partner Registration,” even though the city has had this status since 1997. Hawaii, which created their “Reciprocal Beneficiaries” status (also in 1997) in a desperate attempt to stay court action requiring legal marriage, does not have a trace of searchable information on their State Web site.

If you have information regarding additions or changes to our data, please see Additions and Corrections at the bottom of this page.

None of the pages on this Web site may be reproduced by any form of reproduction without permission from Partners, with the exception of copies for personal, student, and non-commercial use. Please do not copy this article to any Web site.

States and districts Offering Registration
California
Colorado
Connecticut - now offers full legal marriage
District of Columbia - now offers full legal marriage
Hawaii
Maine - now offers full legal marriage
Massachusetts - now offers full legal marriage
Nevada
New Jersey
New York - now offers full legal marriage
Oregon
Vermont - now offers full legal marriage
Washington - now offers full legal marriage
Wisconsin

Registration Outside The U.S.
U.S. Registration Offered, Then Denied

U.S. Registration Locations
U.S. Federal
U.S. House of Representative
    (As of December 1995, members of the House and their staff may register their same-sex
    partners as “significant others” for the purposes of House Rule 52, which prohibits
    them from accepting gifts from anyone besides family and personal friends. “Significant
    others” may be same-sex or opposite-sex.)

Alabama

No known registration.

Alaska

No known registration.

American Samoa

No known registration.

Arizona

No known registration.

Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Note: May 1998 registry was subject to voter referendum in November 1998. We have no
    confirmed report on outcome.

California

California State (1999 - expanded 2002, 2005, 2006)
    “Domestic Partner Registration”
    $10 fee. For same-sex couples 18 or older, opposite-sex couples 62 and older; all
    must be not related by blood, or marriage, live together and accept responsibility for each
    other’s living expenses.
    Benefits: Extensive.
    Note 1: Originally the registry provided for a division of property in the event of a
    break-up, could be used as an affidavit of partnership by the California Public Employees
    Retirement System to extend health coverage to member’s partners, and allowed
    recognition for hospital visitation but not medical decisions; benefits from this
    registration were expanded on Oct. 14, 2001 to include making medical decisions for
    incapacitated partners, sue for wrongful death, adopt a partner’s child, will property
    to a partner, allow an individual to relocate with a domestic partner without losing
    unemployment benefits, use sick leave to care for a family member, and administer a
    partner’s estate.
    Note 2: As of July 1, 2003, 20,319 registered.
        Forms: ss.ca.gov/dpregistry
        See our article: California: Domestic Partner Registration

Arcata, California (1998)
    $30 fee. Must cohabit, but not required to live in jurisdiction. Both same- and opposite-sex
    couples. Enacted August 1998.
    Benefits: Medical care facility visitation rights for partner and partner’s children.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
    6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by partner’s death.

Berkeley, California (1984)
    $30 fee, termination $5 when one partner signs, termination $2 when both sign. Both same-
    and opposite-sex couples. Must be filed in person at the City Clerk’s Office by
    both parties. 6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by partner’s death.
    Implemented December 1984 for city employees - extended to non-Berkeleyites in June 1991.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Must share basic living expenses.
    Note: Likely the first registration in the nation.
            Forms: ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=4206

Cathedral City, California (1997)
    $25 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit in jurisdiction for 6
    months. File Statement with City Clerk. Termination by death, marriage, or no longer
    cohabiting (effective after 30 days). 6-month termination wait period. Enacted
    September 1997.
    Benefits: Partners get equal visitation rights at health care facilities and jails,
    reciprocity given to partners registered elsewhere.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities, jointly responsible for each other’s welfare
    and basic living expenses; third parties may bring civil action for fraud based on false
    statements made in registration or termination documents.

Davis, California (1994)
    $10 fee, no termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit
    and live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, one partner notifies other, one partner
    marries, or partners stop living together. 6-months termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death of partner. Enacted May 1994.
    Benefits: For Davis leases and rental agreements, included as a definition of family, and
    allowed hospital visitation.
    Responsibilities: Must share basic living expenses.

Laguna Beach, California (1992)
    $25 fee, no termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to live
    together, nor live in the jurisdiction. Termination when a partner files and mails copy to
    other. 6-month termination wait period. Enacted April 1992.
    Benefits: Partners may include durable power of attorney in their formation documents;
    visitation in health care facilities and jail.
    Responsibilities: Must share basic living expenses and be responsible for each other’s
    welfare.

Long Beach, California (1997)
    $70 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit or live in the
    jurisdiction. Termination by death, one partner files and notifies other. NO termination
    waiting period. Enacted 1997.
    Benefits: Non-discrimination protections based on seeking benefits of ordinance or assisting
    others to do so, hospital and jail visitation.
    Responsibilities: Must share common necessities of life and be responsible for each
    other’s welfare.

Los Angeles County, California (1999)
    $20 fee, amending $13, termination $15. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required
    to cohabit. At least one partner must be a resident or work for the County.Termination when a
    partner files; no wait period. Enacted May 1999.
    Benefits: None specified.

Marin County, California (1993)
    $20 fee, no termination fee. Same-sex only. Required to share primary residence, and live in
    jurisdiction, or one partner works in Marin County. Neither can have had a different domestic
    partner within the last 6 months. Termination upon death, or when a partner files notice.
    6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted May 1993.
    Benefits: Hospital visitation.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
        Forms: co.marin.ca.us/depts/CC/Main/clerk/domprtnr.cfm

Oakland, California (1996)
    $35 fee; termination $5 if both partners sign, $10 if only one signs. Must cohabit for 6
    months, live in jurisdiction or one partner is employed by the City. For same- and
    opposite-sex couples. Termination upon death, or partners live separately for more than 90
    days, or marriage of one partner, or one partner files notice and sends copy to other.
    6-months termination wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted June 1996.
    Benefits: Exception from Real Estate Transfer Tax under certain conditions; hospital and jail
    visitation.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses, responsible for common welfare.
    Note: As of November 2001, at least 327 couples registered.
        Forms: oaklandnet.com/government/city_clerk/domestic_partner_registration.html

Palm Springs, California (2000)
    $35; Termination termination $5 if both partners sign, $10 if only one signs. For same-and
    opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit for 6 months and live in jurisdiction. Termination
    upon death, marriage, or partners no longer share a residence; file and send notice to other
    partner, effective after 30 days. Enacted January 2000.
    Benefits: Medical facilities and jail visitation; ability to file City applications,
    licenses, and permits for other partner; reciprocity given to partners registered elsewhere.
    Responsibilities: Responsible for common welfare and basic living expenses; third parties may
    bring civil action for fraud based on false statements made in registration and termination
    documents.
        Forms: palmsprings-ca.gov/city_clerk/Form%20Statement%20of%20Domestic%20Partnership.pdf

Palo Alto, California (1996)
    $35 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT required to reside
    in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, or filing statement; 6-month termination wait
    period. Enacted January 1996.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Responsible for each other’s common welfare.

Petaluma, (Sonoma County) California (1999)
    $65 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and reside in jurisdiction
    unless one partner works in it. Termination upon death, or file form, or one partner marries,
    or partners no longer live together; 6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by
    death. Called “Certificate of Partnerships.” Enacted: June 1999
    Benefits: Employee benefits for City employees.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
    Note: The City Council unanimously approved the registry, on April 19, 1999.
        Forms: cityofpetaluma.net/cclerk/domestic.html

Sacramento, California (1992)
    $35 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and live in jurisdiction.
    Termination upon no longer live together, or one partner files Notice and mails copy to
    other. 6-month termination waiting period, unless terminated by death. Enacted October 1992.
    Benefits: Any lease, rental agreement or other real estate contract that uses the word
    “family” is interpreted to include domestic partners; employers in the City, or
    contractors with the City who allow unpaid leave for related persons, must allow the same for
    domestic partners; hospital visitation.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.

San Francisco, California (1990)
    $43 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT required to live in
    jurisdiction. Termination upon death, file Notice, or one partner marries, partners stop
    living together, or one partner sends other notice. Enacted November 1990.
    Benefits: None specified for general public.
    Benefits for San Francisco City and County employees, if
        1. The Domestic Partner is designated as the employee’s beneficiary with the
        Retirement System.
        2. The Domestic Partnership is only established by filing a signed Declaration of
        Domestic Partnership with the County Clerk; in addition the certificate showing that the
        Declaration of Domestic Partnership was filed with the County Clerk must be filed with
        the Retirement System at least one full year prior to the effective date of the
        employee’s retirement, or of the employee’s death if the employee should die
        before retirement.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses, third parties may collect debt from either
    partner.
    Note: Registration originally had hospital visitation. A shockingly mean-spirited referenda
    voted it out.
        Forms: sfgov.org/site/countyclerk_page.asp?id=5540

Santa Barbara, California (1997)
    $43 fee, termination $10. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and
    live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, or a partner files Notice. Enacted June 1997.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities of life.
    Note: As of mid-June 1999, 117 couples were certified.

Santa Barbara County, California (1999)
    $35 fee, termination $10. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit.
    One partner must live in, or is employed by, County. Termination upon death, or a partner
    files Notice. First version, implemented in 1997; second version Enacted June 1999.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Note: First version recognized registration from other cities; offered no benefits.
    Second version offered no direct benefits, however, it provides 14 check-off boxes for
    couples to further define their relationship in such areas as shared personal property, and
    authorizing a partner to authorize medical treatment in an emergency.

Santa Monica, California (1995)
    $15 fee, termination $7. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT
    required to live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, or a partner files Notice; 6-month
    termination wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted September 1995.
    Benefits: Eviction protections so long as partners registered prior to eviction notice and
    copy given to landlord.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
        Forms: pen.ci.santa-monica.ca.us/cityclerk/index.htm

West Hollywood, California (1985)
    $25 fee, termination $7.50. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. Filing by mail accepted if notarized. Termination
    upon partner filing Notice and mails copy to other; 6-month termination wait period. Enacted
    February 1985.
    Benefits: Hospital and jail visitation [note: city has neither facility], protection from
    housing eviction, reciprocity for partners registered elsewhere.
    Responsibilities: Partners agree to be responsible for each other’s welfare.
        Forms: http://weho.org/index.aspx?page=297

Colorado

Colorado State (2013)
    Designated Beneficiary Agreements became effect on July 1, 2009.
    Offers limited rights, such as hospital and jail visitations, funeral arrangements, and
    death benefits and the right for a surviving partner to be claimed as a next of kin.
    Civil Unions became law in mid-March 2013. This registration allows same-sex couples to
    gain many rights comparable to a legal marriage license, which only opposite-sex couples enjoy.
    Openly gay Democrat Mark Ferrandino, Speaker of the House in presenting the bill:
    “Its about love, its about family, and its about equality under the law.”
    Rev. Nancy Bowen, executive, Mountain Desert District of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
    “We believe that our congregations should honor all that is holy and what is more holy than love?
    Civil unions protect our religious freedom to recognize the unions of all loving couples in our state.”

    “The Impact of the Colorado Domestic Partnership Act on Colorado’s State Budget”
        - PDF file from The Williams Institute.
    This study estimates that allowing same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships
    under the proposed “Colorado Domestic Partnership Benefits and Responsibilities Act” will
    result in a net gain of approximately $1.2 million each year for the State. This net
    increase will result from savings in expenditures on state means-tested public benefits
    programs and from an increase in sales tax revenue from registration celebrations.

Boulder, Colorado (1996)
    $25 fee; termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. File Affidavit or sign
    certificate before city clerk. Required to cohabit. NOT required to live in jurisdiction.
    Termination upon death, or file notice, certified notice to other partner. NO termination
    wait period. Enacted April 1996.
    Benefits: None specified, however, has been useful toward qualifying for partner’s
    medical insurance.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, caring, and commitment
    Note: Registry option to be confidential and not a public record.
    Note: As of March 11, 2006, between 700-800 couples registered, with 17 terminations.
        “Domestic Partnership Registration” - from the Office of the City Clerk of Boulder

Denver, Colorado (1999)
    $25 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, be at least 18,
    unmarried and not related to each other. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. Termination
    upon marriage, death, both file certificate, or one files and sends copy to other. No
    termination Waiting Period. Established November 29, 1999; effective December 3, 1999.
    Benefits: None specified, however, have been useful documentation toward qualifying for a
    partner’s medical insurance.
    Note from the city Web site: “What Registration Does Not Do - Registering as committed
    partners does not constitute marriage under the laws of the State of Colorado nor change your
    legal rights with your partner. Registration does not affect your property, contract,
    inheritance, custody, or benefit rights nor any other legal entitlements. It does not provide
    for name changes. To provide for such rights domestic partners may need to execute medical
    and/or general powers of attorney, wills, and/or other legal instruments, just as though
    there were no partnership. Consult your attorney.” - in other words, it is impotent.
    Note: As of March 11, 2006, 757 couples registered and 58 subsequently terminated their
    union.
        “Committed Partnership Registry” - from the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder

Connecticut

Because of a suit, Connecticut allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: Connecticut Offers Legal Marriage

Connecticut State (2005)
    “Civil Unions”
    $30 fee. Enacted October 1, 2005.
    Benefits: Extensive. Same-sex couples may receive the same spousal rights as do opposite-sex,
    legally married couples.
        See our article: Connecticut: Civil Unions

Hartford, Connecticut (1993)
    $30, termination $5. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT required to
    live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, or partner files declaration and sends copy to
    other. 6-month and 7 days termination wait period, unless terminated by death.
    Enacted June 1993.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities of life.)

Delaware

No known registration.

District of Columbia

Because of legislation, DC allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: District of Columbia Offers Legal Marriage

The District of Columbia had a registration (2001 - amended 2006)
Domestic partnership is no longer offered because it offers full legal marriage
    Registration and the Domestic Partnership Equality Amendment Act of 2006
    $45 fee, amend $10, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, file forms and notify other
    partner. 6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted June 1992,
    effective 2001.
    Benefits: Hospital, nursing home, and adoption agency visitation; decision-making on human
    remains after death; health insurance benefits and leave for City employees hired after 1987.
    Benefits from the Amendment Act: Inheritance, legal, and survivor rights, establishes
    obligations for child support and alimony, provides power of attorney to manage financial,
    medical, and legal matters, provides immunity from testifying against a partner, and the
    ability to write and enforce the equivalent of premarital agreements.
    Note 1: Not funded by U.S. Congress; couples sign up by registered mail with forms created by
    local legal groups; part of the District of Columbia Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of
    1992, it was part of a domestic partner benefit law that has been blocked by “social
    riders” the U.S. Congress attached to D.C. budget bills since 1992, and was finally
    allowed to be enacted in December 2001. As of December 16, 2005, 554 couples had registered
    as domestic partners. Out of that total, 479 were same-sex couples and 75 were
    opposite-sex couples.
    Note 2: The Domestic Partnership Equality Amendment Act of 2006 was introduced by
    Councilman Phil Mendelson (D-at-Large) in 2005. The D.C. City Council voted for the act on
    January 6, 2006. Congress had 30 days to act against it, and did not.
    Note 3: As of April 7, 2006, there were 587 registered domestic couples.
        Forms: doh.dc.gov/doh/cwp/view,a,1374,q,580926,dohNav_GID,1802,dohNav,|33200|33240|.asp

Florida

Broward County, Florida (1999)
    $28 fee, amend $18.50, termination $10. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to
    cohabit in jurisdiction, be 18+ and not be related by blood and not otherwise married or
    partnered. Termination upon death, marriage, or either partner files. 1 month termination
    wait period; coverage may not be obtained for more than one domestic partner during a year.
    Enacted January 1999, final approval April 27, 1999.
    Benefits: Hospital and jail visitation, and ability to make medical decisions for an
    incapacitated partner; county employees may use registration to purchase through
    county’s group plan for their partners. Also, the County gives preference points to
    bidders on larger contracts who offer spousal health benefits to their employees’
    domestic partners.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
    Note 1: By April 2003, 1,929 partnerships were registered, with 182 terminations.
    Note 2: Survived a court challenge claiming that the extension of benefits constitutes the
    creation of a new “marital” status; was appealed. We have not read of results.

Clearwater, Florida (2012)
    $? fee.
    June 7, 2012, the Clearwater City Council unanimously approved creation of a domestic
    partnership registry.

Gainsville, Florida
    $? fee.

Gulfport, Florida (2012)
    $50 fee.
    May 15, 2012, the Gulfport City Council voted unanimously to create a domestic partnership registry.

Key West, Florida (1998)
    $50 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT required to reside
    in jurisdiction. Also requires listing the names and birth dates of all dependents.
    Termination upon death, one partner files and notifies other. Conflicting info reported:
    30-days termination wait period - or - 6-months termination wait period, unless terminated by
    death. Enacted February 1998.
    Benefits: Partnered city employees entitled to same health benefits, bereavement and sick,
    and parental leave as those with legal spouses; reciprocity given to partners registered
    elsewhere.
    Responsibilities: Joint responsibility for basic living expenses.
        Forms: keywestcity.com/egov/apps/services/index.exe?path=details&action=i&id=45

Miami Beach, Florida (2004)
    $50 fee, amend $25, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to
    cohabit. NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, marriage, formation
    of civil union, both file termination or one files and notifies other; effective on date of
    filing or date proof of service filed. Enacted August 2004.
    Benefits: Health care and correctional facility visitation, health care decision-making for
    incapacitated partner, participation in educational activities, funeral and burial decisions,
    emergency notification as a family member, pre-need guardian designation.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities, responsible for each other’s welfare.
        Forms: web.miamibeachfl.gov/cityclerk/default.aspx?id=14068

Miami-Dade County, Florida
    $? fee.

Monroe County, Florida (1998)
    $? fee.

Orando, Florida (2012)
    $30 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. City Council voted December 12, 2011 to enact
    the registry on January 12, 2012.
    Benefits: Hospital visitation, healthcare decision-making privileges, and the right to make
    funeral arrangements at institutions within Orlando city limits.

Palm Beach County, Florida (2006)
    $50 fee, amend $20, termination $20, copies $5, certified copy $5.50. Both same-and
    opposite-sex couples. Required to appear in person and produce a copy of at least one the
    following: current mortgage, lease or deed showing both partners’ names, driver
    licenses, passports, tax returns, other government issued photograph ID showing same address.
    Additionally, the couple must produce copies of at least two of the following: current
    mortgage, lease or deed with both names, statement from a joint bank account, joint credit
    cards, co-owned vehicle, beneficiary designation for retirement plan, or life insurance
    policy naming the partner, wills naming partner as primary beneficiary. Effect
    January 21, 2006.
    Benefits: Visit partner at county health care, county correctional, juvenile detention
    facilities; make medical decisions for incapacitated partner; make funeral and burial
    decisions; be notified in situations where family notification is mandated or permissible; be
    designated and serve as pre-need guardian; legal marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil
    unions are automatically recognized.
    Note: county residents can use Palm Beach’s reciprocity provision and register at a less
    complex location, such as West Palm Beach: cityofwpb.com/domestic (Broward County, Key West, and
    Miami Beach also have registries.)
        Forms: pbcountyclerk.com/courtservices/circuitcivil/domesticpartner.htm

St. Petersburg, Florida (2012)
    $? fee.
    June 7, 2012, the St. Petersburg City Council approved a domestic partner registration.

Tampa, Florida (2012)
    $? fee.
    City Council voted unanimously to approve a domestic partnership registry on March 15, 2012.
    Benefits: Ability to visit each other in the hospital, make medical decisions for an
    incapacitated partner, and to be notified as a family member in case of emergency.
    
West Palm Beach, Florida (February 2005)
    $50 fee. NOT required to be residents. Register by U.S. mail or at City Clerk’s Office.
        Forms: cityofwpb.com/domestic

Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia (1997)
    $30 fee. For same-and opposite sex couples. Registration filed in the Office of Treasury,
    Finance Department: 404-330-6430. Required to cohabit for 6 months; live in jurisdiction,
    or both must be city employees; share basic living expenses. 6-month termination wait
    period, unless terminated by death. Enacted March 1997.
    Benefits: Jail visitation.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.

Fulton County, Georgia (2003)
    $25 fee. Same-sex couples only. Required to cohabit 6 months. Also required to live in
    jurisdiction, or one partner is employed by County. File declaration with Clerk to the Board
    of Commissioners: 516-482-0019. Termination upon death, partners no longer meet registry
    criteria, or one partner sends Notice to other. 6-month termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death. Enacted July 2003.
    Benefits: Medical and jail facility visitation; equal access to facilities and
    programs regulated, funded or operated by County; protection from retaliation and
    discrimination for use of registry or rights utilized; benefits for County employees.
    Responsibilities: Joint responsibility for the “necessities of life.”
        Forms: co.fulton.ga.us/departments/clerk_comm_reports_T95_R18.html

Guam

No known registration

Hawaii

Hawaii State
    “Civil Unions” (2012)
    Enacted January 1, 2012
        See our article: Civil Unions: The Hawaii Approach
    “Reciprocal Beneficiaries” (1997)
    $8 fee; termination $8. For same-and opposite sex couples. NOT required to live together or
    live in jurisdiction. Registration: notarized copy of completed Registration of Reciprocal
    Beneficiary Relationship Form filed with Dept. of Health. Termination upon notarized
    Declaration of Termination; no wait period. Enacted July 1997.
    Benefits: Inheritance, hospital visitation, family and funeral leaves, legal standing for
    wrongful death and crime victims, use of state facilities.
    Note: Major benefit of workplace insurance for a partner was rendered invalid by
    the State Attorney General in 1997.

Idaho

No known registration.

Illinois

Cook County, Illinois (2003)
    $30 fee, amend $5, termination $30, additional copies and wallet-sized certificates $10. For
    same-sex couples only. Both parties sign affidavit at County Clerk Office. Required to
    cohabit, and live in jurisdiction, unless one partner is employed by County. No termination
    process specified. Enacted July 2003, effective October 2, 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
        Forms: cookctyclerk.com/sub/domestic_partnership_application.asp

Oak Park, Illinois (1997)
    $50 fee, termination $50. Same-sex only. File Declaration with Village Clerk. Required to
    cohabit 6 months, and live in jurisdiction. Termination upon death, one partner files form
    with Clerk and notifies other, partners no longer fit criteria. 6-month termination wait
    period, unless terminated by death. Implemented September 1997.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
    Note 1: Symbolic vote re-affirmation, in March 1998, after ballot initiative challenge.
    Note 2: As of July 1, 2003, about 60 couples registered.
        Forms: www.oak-park.us/Village_Clerk/Domestic_Partnership.html

Urbana, Illinois (September 1, 2005)
    $15 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, be 18+, unmarried, not
    being blood-related closer than permitted by Illinois marriage laws. NO residency
    requirement, even those not U.S. citizens. Couples must produce identification, proof of age.
    6-1 city council vote on May 2, 2005; effective September 1, 2005.
    Benefits: None specified.

Indiana

No known registration.

Iowa

Because of a suit, Iowa allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: Iowa Offers Legal Marriage

Iowa City, Iowa (1994)
    $30 fee. Same-sex couples only. NOT required to cohabit. One partner required to reside
    in, or is employed in, the city. File Declaration with City Clerk. Termination upon death,
    both file form, or one files proof that notice was mailed to the other. 90 day termination
    wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted November 1994.
    Benefits: Enables employers to “voluntarily provide equal treatment in employment
    benefits”
    Responsibilities: Responsible for each other’s welfare.

Kansas

No known registration.

Kentucky

No known registration.

Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana (1993)
    $35 fee, amend $7, termination $7. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit,
    and live in jurisdiction, unless one partner is employed in the City. File Declaration with
    Clerk of Council. Termination upon death, partners no longer meet qualifications, one partner
    files Notice. 6-month termination wait period, unless terminated by death. Enacted July 16,
    1993.
    Benefits: None specified. However, registration was utilized by the city, on May 17, 1997,
    when it offered benefits to municipal workers.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.

Maine

Because of legislation and voters, Maine allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: Maine Offers Legal Marriage

Maine State (2004)
    “Domestic Partnership”
    $35 fee, termination $35. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Must cohabit in jurisdiction
    for at least 12 months. File Declaration with State Office of Vital Records. No wait period
    with termination upon marriage, or both file a Notice; otherwise, 60-day wait after one
    partner files along with proof of service notifying other partner. Established April 2004,
    effective July 30, 2004.
    Benefits: Establishes the partner as next-of-kin, for the right to make funeral or burial
    arrangements, as inheritor without a will, trust, or other estate planning, as a guardian
    when the partner is incapacitated, guardianships, conservator rights, protection from abuse,
    victim compensation.
    Note: Registration states that it “is not a substitute for a will, a deed, or a
    partnership agreement.”
        See our article: Maine: Declaration of Domestic Partnership
        Forms: maine.gov/dhs/bohodr/domstcprtnrspge.htm

Portland, Maine (2001)
    $20 fee, termination $20. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit in
    jurisdiction for at least 6 months. File notarized form with City Clerk. Termination upon
    death, or partner files notarized statement and inform other. 6-month termination wait
    period, unless terminated by death. Enacted 2001, effective June 2002.
    Benefits: Hospital visitation, City employee benefits, protection from retaliation and
    discrimination.

Maryland

Maryland State
    Domestic partners are exempted from paying state inheritance tax on certain
    property that passes to them from their deceased domestic partner.
        [See this article from Equality Maryland: Inheritance Tax - Exemption - Domestic Partners]

Takoma Park, Maryland (1993)
    $25 fee, amend $10, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File Declaration with City Clerk. Termination upon
    death, or file Declaration with City Clerk. 6-month termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death. Enacted November 1993.
    Benefits: Medical benefits for partners of City employees.

Massachusetts

Because of a court suit, Massachusetts allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: Massachusetts Offers Legal Marriage

Massachusetts State
    Executive Order - also: Legal Marriage for same-sex couples
    Benefits: Extensive.
    Note: Governor’s Executive Order allows state workers to register for bereavement leave,
    visitation rights in state prisons and hospitals.

Boston, Massachusetts (1993)
    $62 fee, amend $50, termination $50, copies $12. Both same-and opposite-sex couples.
    NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File Statement with City
    Clerk. Termination upon death, file Statement. 90-day termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death. Enacted December 1993.
    Benefits: Hospital, jail visitation for partners and children, school record access,
    prohibits discrimination on the basis of domestic partnership.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses, assume responsibility for partner’s
    welfare.
    Note: fees specified as same as for marriage license.
        Forms: cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/services.asp#dp

Brewster, Massachusetts (1995)
    $20 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit. Required to live in
    jurisdiction. File Statement with Town Clerk. Termination upon filing Statement with Town
    Clerk. 6-month termination wait period. Enacted 1995.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities of life and responsible for each other.

Brookline, Massachusetts (1993)
    $25 fee, termination $10. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File Statement with Town Clerk. Termination upon death,
    or filing Statement with Town Clerk. 90-day termination wait period, unless terminated by
    death. Enacted June 1993.
    Benefits: Hospital and jail visitation, prohibits discrimination on the basis of DP status,
    reciprocity for partners registered elsewhere.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses and assume responsibility for each other and
    for the welfare of any dependents.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (1992)
    $15 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. Required to live in
    jurisdiction. File registration form with City Clerk. Termination upon death, file
    Statement with City Clerk, send copy to other partner. 6-months and 7-days termination wait
    period, unless terminated by death. Enacted September 1992.
    Benefits: Hospital and jail visitation for partners and children, access to children and
    school records, domestic partner benefits for partners of city employees, reciprocity given
    to partners registered elsewhere
    Responsibilities: Relationship of mutual support, caring and commitment.
        Forms: ci.cambridge.ma.us/~CityClrk/domestic-partnership

Nantucket, Massachusetts (1996)
    $15 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. NOT required to live in
    jurisdiction. File registration form with Town Clerk. Termination upon death, file
    termination form (effective seven days after other partner is notified). 6-month termination
    waiting period, unless terminated by death. Enacted April 1996.
    Benefits: Medical and correctional facilities visitation, school-related privileges regarding
    partners’ children, town employees partner benefits, reciprocity given to partners
    registered elsewhere
    Responsibilities: Mutual support.

Provincetown, Massachusetts (1993)
    $15 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to
    live in jurisdiction. File an official record with Town Clerk. Termination upon death, one
    partner files termination statement with Town Clerk, mails copy to other. 97-daytermination
    waiting period, unless terminated by death. Enacted April 1993.
    Benefits: Hospital and prison visitation, access to children and child’s school,
    “spouse” in town bylaws interpreted to include domestic partners.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support.

Truro, Massachusetts (2004)
    $10 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to
    live in jurisdiction. File an official record with Town Clerk. Termination upon death, one
    partner files form with Town Clerk and sends copy to other via certified mail (effective
    after 7-days). 6-month termination waiting period, unless terminated by death. Enacted May
    2004.
    Benefits: Hospital and correctional facility visitation, upon filing of letter by partner who
    is parent or legal guardian of child, other partner will have access to child’s school
    records, school personnel and right to remove child from school for sickness or family
    emergency, protection from retaliation and discrimination for use of registry,
    “spouse” or “family” in town bylaws is interpreted to include domestic
    partners.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support.

Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan (1991)
    $20 resident fee, non-resident $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to
    cohabit. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File declaration with City Clerk or have it
    witnessed and notarized. Termination upon death, one partner marries, one or both files
    notice of termination. NO termination wait period. Enacted November 1991.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.

Detroit, Michigan (2001)
    $? fee.

East Lansing, Michigan
    $? fee.

Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota (1991)
    $20 fee plus “a reasonable fee per document for providing certified copies of
    registrations, amendments or notices of termination.”. Both same- and opposite-sex
    couples. NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File application with
    City Clerk. Termination upon death, one partner files termination form (effective 45 days
    after other partner notified). No termination wait period. Enacted January 1991, and expanded
    on August 22, 2003. 
    Benefits: Allows for medical care facility visitation, bans discrimination in fees between
    “a person with a spouse and a person with a domestic partner or between a person with a
    spouse and children or a person with a domestic partner and children” in real estate,
    public accommodations, public services, and professional organizations. Also, the housing
    maintenance code was updated to include domestic partners in the definition of family.
    Responsibilities: Joint responsibility for necessities of life.
    Note 1: Originally, at least one partner must live or work in Minneapolis. This was changed
    to allowing non-residents in 2003. The city council added those with domestic partner
    registrations (or other legally founded relationships in other local, state, or foreign
    jurisdictions) as domestic partners under the Minneapolis city ordinance extending
    protections to visitors and new city residents.
    Note 2: [“CODE OF ORDINANCES - Title 7 - CIVIL RIGHTS - CHAPTER 142.
      CIVIL RIGHTS AND DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS 142.10.
      Purpose. The City of Minneapolis recognizes that nationwide debate has advanced an
      expanded concept of familial relationships beyond traditional marital and blood
      relationships. This expanded concept recognizes the relationship of two (2) non-married
      but committed adult partners. Recognizing this the Minneapolis City Council hereby adopts
      a process to provide persons to declare themselves as domestic partners, thus enabling
      employers to voluntarily provide equal treatment in employment benefits for such
      partners and their dependents.” (91-Or-015, § 1, 1-25-91) ]
        Forms: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/domestic-partner-registration

Mississippi

No known registration.

Missouri

Jackson County, Missouri (2003)
    “Voluntary Civil Union Registry”
    No fee. both same-and opposite-sex couples. Any two or more people may register.
    NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. Bring photo ID and sign book
    in Office of Recorder of Deeds at Jackson County courthouse in either Kansas City or
    Independence. No termination process enacted. Enacted April 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Note: Status created by order of the County Executive.

Kansas City, Missouri (2003)
    NO fee. Required to cohabit 12 months. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File Affidavit
    with City Clerk, filing by mail accepted. Termination when one or both partners file
    Affidavit. No wait period. Enacted August 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Joint responsibility for basic necessities, proof of financial
    interdependence required for city employees seeking domestic partner benefits.
        Forms: cityclerk.kcmo.org/liveweb/content/content.aspx?id=9

St. Louis, Missouri (1997)
    Mayoral Executive Order
    $1. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit and live in jurisdiction.
    File Statement with City Register. Termination upon death, or one partner files Statement
    with City Register and mails copy to other. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for
    death of partner. Enacted April 1998.
    Benefits: Visitation to city medical and jail facilities. Violation of rights can bring fine
    and imprisonment.

Montana

No known registration.

Nebraska

No known registration.

Nevada

Nevada State (2009)
    In 2009, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill to create legal recognition of same-sex unions.
    This bill created a domestic partnership registry that enables same- and opposite-sex couples,
    to enjoy some of the same rights as married couples. While the bill was vetoed by Governor Jim Gibbons,
    it was overridden by the legislature on May 31, 2009. The law took effect on October 1, 2009.
    Same-sex marriage in Nevada was banned in 2002 through Question 2, an amendment to the
    Constitution of Nevada, which passed with almost 67 percent of the vote.
        See: “Domestic Partnerships in Nevada: A Practical Guide
            for Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Couples” - from ACLU/Nevada
        “Domestic Partnerships” - from the Nevada Secretary of State
        “Domestic Partnership - FAQ” - from the Nevada Secretary of State

New Hampshire

Because of legislation, New Hampshire allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: New Hampshire Offers Legal Marriage

No known registration.

New Jersey

New Jersey State (2004)
    “Domestic Partnership Act”
    $28 fee. For same-sex, but also for opposite-sex couples 62+. Required to cohabit and live in
    jurisdiction, unless one partner is member of New Jersey State-administered retirement
    system. Both parties must file a notarized affidavit with local Registrar of Vital
    Statistics. Required to show government-issued identification and proof of shared financial
    assets. NO termination waiting period. Approved January 2004, effective July 10, 2004.
    Benefits: Hospital visitation and decision-making rights, an inheritance tax exemption, and a
    state income tax deduction for dependents. Partners of state employees get medical and
    pension coverage. Private employers are not obligated to provide medical, but all insurance
    companies must make such coverage available to employers who wish to make it part of their
    employee benefits. The Act also outlaws discrimination against domestic partners.
    Responsibilities: Cohabitation and joint finances or common welfare.
        See our article: New Jersey: Domestic Partnership Act
        Forms: www.state.nj.us/health/vital/dp2.shtml

New Mexico

No known registration.

New York

Because of legislation, New York State allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: New York Offers Legal Marriage

New York State
    Governor’s Executive Order
    Benefits: Allows state workers to register for bereavement leave, and visitation rights in
    state prisons and hospitals.

Albany, New York (1996)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit 6 months
    prior to filing. NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File statement with City Clerk.
    Termination when a partner files with City Clerk and notifies other in writing within 30
    days. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted March 1996.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Commit to the physical, emotional and financial care of each other; share
    the common necessities and tasks of one household.
        Forms: albanyny.org/_files/Forms/Government/CityClerk_Forms/Domestic%20Partnerships%20Information.pdf

Babylon, Long Island, New York
    $? fee.

East Hampton, (Suffolk County, Long Island) New York (October 2002)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File notarized statement with Town Clerk. Termination
    when a partner files termination statement with Town Clerk declaring that copy has been
    mailed to other. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted
    September 2002.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, responsible for each other’s welfare.
    Note: As of December 2003, 63 couples had registered - not all are same-sex couples.
        Forms: town.east-hampton.ny.us/pages/forms/Affidavit%20of%20Domestic%20Partnership.pdf

Great Neck (Village of) (2004)
    $35 fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. Required to live in
    jurisdiction, or at least one partner is employed by Village. File affidavit with Village
    Clerk. Termination upon death, marriage, filing affidavit with Clerk by both partners, or by
    one with declaration that notice has been sent to other (effective after 30 days). 60-day
    termination wait period, unless terminated by death or marriage. Enacted January 2004.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Financially interdependent.

Great Neck Plaza (Village of) (2003)
    $100 fee, amend $25, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to
    cohabit. Required to live in jurisdiction, or at least one partner is employed by Village.
    File affidavit with Village Clerk. Termination upon death, marriage, filing of notarized
    statement by both partners, or by one partner with proof of notice mailed to other. 60-day
    termination wait period, unless terminated by death or marriage. Enacted November 2003
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, responsible for each other’s welfare.

Huntington, (Suffolk County, Long Island) New York (2004)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit for a
    year. Required to live in jurisdiction. Register in person: Town Clerk, Huntington Town Hall,
    100 Main St.; 631-351-3216. Termination upon death, marriage, one partner files termination
    statement with Clerk with proof of delivery to (or notarized statement from) other
    acknowledging termination. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death of a
    partner. Enacted June 2004.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, responsible for each other’s welfare

Ithaca, New York (1990)
    $20 fee, termination $5. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to live in jurisdiction. File statement with City Clerk. Termination when a
    partner files Statement with Clerk and mails copy to other. 6-month termination wait period,
    no exemption for death of a partner. Enacted August 1990.
    Benefits: Family rates at city-owned facilities. City employees entitled to sick and
    bereavement leave, health and dental insurance equal to those of employees with spouses.
    Responsibilities: Responsible for each other’s welfare.

New York, New York (1993) (includes: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)
    Executive Order
    $36 fee; amend $27, termination $27. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to
    cohabit. Required to live in jurisdiction, or one partner employed by the City. File
    registration certificate with City Clerk. Termination when one partner files termination with
    Clerk, sends notification to other. 6-months termination wait period, no exemption for death
    of partner. Enacted January 1993.
    Extra Requirements: Disclosure of a domestic partner’s background and financial status
    required as they are for marital partners in applications for business licenses,
    city-subsidized housing, and candidacy for public office.
    Benefits: Hospital and jail visitation, shared parking permits, standing for joint appeals of
    city tax bills, continued tenancy for surviving partners in rental units following the death
    of the lease-holding partner, inheritance of some city-issued licenses, joint burial in the
    city cemetery.
    Benefits for City employees: Medical, dental, bereavement leave, unpaid child care leave if
    partner becomes a parent, death benefits, “Good Samaritan awards” for domestic
    partners of city employees killed in the line of duty, equal spousal benefits in future
    collective bargaining agreements.
    Note: Registry is confidential and not a public record.
        Information from the city: cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/domestic_partnership_reg.shtml
NYC Domestic Partner Registration
Registry began in 1993
By July 2005, at least 27,017 couples signed up.
About 30 percent were opposite-sex couples.
Year Total Couples Opposite-sex Same-sex
2004 3,048 2,147 901
2005 2,251 814 3,066
by Oct. 25, 2006 2,863 2,096 767

North Hempstead, (Nassau County, Long Island) New York (2003)
    $35 fee, amend $25, termination $35. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to
    cohabit. At least one is required to be a resident or Town employee, and swear they are in a
    committed relationship. File notarized affidavit with Town Clerk. Termination upon death,
    marriage, no longer meet registry criteria, filing of notarized statement by both partners or
    by one partner with written notice sent to other. 60-day termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death or marriage. Enacted August 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Financially interdependent relationship.
    Note: Several villages in the town of North Hempstead have set up registries: Great Neck,
    Great Neck Plaza, North Hills, Rolsyn Estates.
        Forms: www.northhempstead.com/content/4441/4996/default.aspxx

North Hills (Village of) (2003)
    NO fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. Required to be a resident or
    one be a Village employee. File notarized affidavit with Village Clerk. Termination upon
    death, marriage, filing of notarized statement by both partners or by one partner with proof
    of notice mailed to other. 60-day termination wait period, unless terminated by death or
    marriage. Enacted May 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Financially interdependent relationship.

Rochester, New York (1993)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit at least 6
    months prior to filing. NOT required to be a resident. File statement with City Clerk.
    Termination when a partner files with Clerk and notifies other. 6-month termination wait
    period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted July 1993.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Committed to physical, emotional and financial care of each other,
    financial interdependence

Rockland County, New York (2006)
    $? fee.
    Note: The County Legislature approved (12-4) the registry, as well as an amendment to a
    housing law to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, on March 21, 2006.

Roslyn Estates (Village of) (2004)
    NO fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. Required to be resident, or
    at least one partner employed by the Village. File affidavit with Village Clerk. Termination
    upon death, marriage, at least one partner files affidavit with Clerk and sends written
    notice to other, (if one partner files, effective after 30 days). 60-day termination wait
    period, unless terminated by death. Enacted January 2004.
    Benefits: None.
    Responsibilities: Financially interdependent.

Southampton, (Suffolk County, Long Island) New York (2003)
    $20 fee, termination $20. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and be a
    resident. File statement with Town Clerk. Termination when either partner files termination
    statement with Clerk and declares copy has been mailed to other. 6-month termination wait
    period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted March 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, responsible for each other’s welfare.
    Note: As of December 2003, 25 couples registered.
        Forms: town.southampton.ny.us/listing.ihtml?myid=1463&id=131&cat=Town%20Clerk

Southold, (Suffolk County, Long Island) New York (2003)
    $20 fee, termination $10. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and be a
    resident. File statement with Town Clerk. Termination when either partner files statement
    with Clerk and declares copy has been mailed to other. 6-month termination wait period, no
    exemption for death of partner. Enacted December 16, 2003.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support, responsible for each other’s welfare.

Suffolk County, New York (2006)
    $? fee. Enacted April 4, 2006.
    Benefits: Hospital or nursing home visitation rights, control over deceased loved one’s
    remains, certificate of County recognition.
    Note: Entire 10-member Democratic majority, as well as three Republicans, approved the
    legislation.

Westchester County, New York (2002)
    $35 fee, termination $35. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit. Required
    to be resident, or one partner must work in County. File affidavit with the County Clerk.
    Termination when a partner files affidavit with Clerk and sends notice to other. 60-Day
    termination wait period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted November 27, 2002.
    Benefits: Visitation accorded to spouses, next of kin or family members at any correctional
    facility, hospital, nursing home or health care facility in Westchester.
    Responsibilities: Financially interdependence.
    Note: By July 2005, 239 couples registered. Only 146 can be identified as same-sex couples,
    based on first names. They represent only 7 percent of the 2,112 same-sex couples in
    Westchester who acknowledged their relationships in the last federal census. Female couples
    outnumber male couples by 2-to-1. Seventy-three opposite-sex couples - exactly one third of
    the sex-identified couples - also signed up, while the sexes of 20 couples with ambiguous
    names could not be determined. Five couples have dissolved their registration.

North Carolina

Carrboro, North Carolina (1994)
    $40 fee, amend $40, termination $40. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to
    cohabit. Required to reside in jurisdiction, or one partner works for Town. File affidavit
    with Town Clerk. Termination when a partner files affidavit and sends copy to other. 12-month
    termination wait period, no exemption for death of partner. Enacted October 1994.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses and be responsible for each other’s
    welfare.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1995)
    $50 fee, termination $50. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. Sign affidavit in front of Clerk or notary public.
    Termination upon filing an affidavit. NO termination wait period. Enacted April 1995.
    Benefits: Town employees receive equal family and sick leave benefits.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses, partners added to list of relatives.
    Note: Ordinance creating a domestic partner registry does not specify that the partners must
    live together, but the ordinance adding a definition of domestic partnership to the Town Code
    defines domestic partners as living together.

North Dakota

No known registration.

Northern Mariana Islands

No known registration

Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio (2008)
    Must be same-sex only, 18 or older, neither may be married or in existing domestic partnership
    with someone else. $55 fee. Couples do not have to live in Cleveland.
    City Council voted for the law on December 08, 2008. Mayor Frank Jackson approved and registration
    became available on May 7, 2009.
    Benefits?: Nonbinding. It could prompt employers, hospitals and other organizations to offer
    rights and obligations typically available only to those with a legal marriage. Or not.
    Note: On October 1, 2010, in a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate
    District, upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by an anti-gay group, Alliance
    Defense Fund, that attempted to strip away the newly enacted domestic partnership registry for
    same-sex couples and their families.
    Cleveland’s Domestic Partner Application Form

Cleveland Heights, Ohio (2003)
    $50 fee residents, $65 others. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. Both partners sign, notarize, and submit declaration
    with City. Termination process not specified. 90-day termination wait period, unless
    terminated by death. Enacted November 4, 2003, effective January 2004.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Mutual interdependence.
    Note 1: Information from the Town Web site which goes far out of the way to define the
    registration and (desperately?) differentiate it from legal marriage:
       “The signing of this Registry does not in and of itself confer any legal rights,
       privileges or status upon the signers and it is not intended that the signing of the
       Registry will in any way effect or conflict with the laws of the State of Ohio governing
       marriage.”
       “ ‘Share a common residence’ means that both domestic partners share the
       same residence. It is not necessary that the legal right to possess the common residence
       be in both of their names. Two people have a common residence even if one or both have
       additional residences. Domestic partners do not cease to have a common residence if one
       leaves the common residence but intends to return.”
       “ ‘Mutual interdependence’ means that each partner contributes to the
       maintenance and support of the relationship. It does not mean that the partners need to
       contribute equally.
    Note 2: The first registry to be put in place by public ballot initiative (Issue 35).
    Note 3: By January 26, 2005, 120 couples registered - 102 were same-sex couples - 58 from
    Cleveland Heights, 41 from other Cleveland suburbs, 18 from Ohio cities outside the Cleveland
    area; and three from other states.
    Note 4: Councilman Jimmie Hicks Jr., backed by a national radical right-wing Christian group
    had filed a suit against the registry, saying it overstepped the city’s powers provided
    by the state constitution. In May 2004, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Robert Glickman
    dismissed the suit, saying the registry confers no legal status on the couples who sign up.
    Hicks’ Cincinnati lawyer, David Langdon, appealed to the 8th Ohio District Court of
    Appeals where the case is pending. In December 2004, Langdon, armed with the new
    anti-marriage anti-any-contract between same-sex couples constitutional amendment, said he
    expected to file a new suit.
        Domestic Partner Registration Information: clevelandheights.com/index.aspx?page=339

Oklahoma

No known registration.

Oregon

Oregon State (2007 - expanded 2009)
    $50-60 fee varies by county. Certified copy less than $10, varies by county. Requires 6-month
    cohabitation.
    Benefits: Originally none were specified. However, it is used to trigger government employment
    benefits.
    Responsibilities: basic living expenses (food, shelter, and any other expenses of maintaining
    a household).
    Note 1: The registration was legally challenged. On August 14, 2008, a three-judge panel of the
    U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to protect the domestic partnership law. Basic Rights
    Oregon campaigned heavily to ensure there will be no 2008 anti-LGBT referendum.
    Note 2: On April 27, 2009, House Bill 2839 passed which expands the legal ramifications
    of a domestic partnership to include:
    * Taxation and health insurance benefits and entitlements;
    * Taking in a domestic partner’s surname;
    * Clarification of “domestic partnership” and “civil unions” from other states, so that Oregon
      will recognise them as “domestic partnerships.”
        [See the State’s bill: House Bill 2839]

Ashland, Oregon (October 1999)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Same-sex couples only. Required to cohabit. NOT required to reside
    in jurisdiction. Complete affidavit and file certificate with City Recorder or retain
    certificate as private record. Termination upon death, file statement of termination and
    proof of attempt to notify other partner. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for
    death of partner. Enacted October 1999.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities of life, responsible for each other’s
    welfare, and “intend to remain together indefinitely.”
    Note: Registration was passed by the City Council and is not authorized by an ordinance;
    rather it is simply a city program.

Eugene, Oregon (2002)
    $50 fee, termination NO fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. File signed statement. Termination upon death, one or
    both partners files statement of termination with City, if only one partner signs, must
    provide statement that partner has been notified. 6-month termination wait period, no
    exemption for death of partner. Enacted November 2002.
    Benefts: None specified.

Multnomah County, Oregon (2000)
    $60 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. File certificate with Marriage License Section - both
    partners must be present). Termination upon death, file termination statement, send certified
    notice to other partner. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death of partner.
    Enacted July 2000.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Share common necessities of life.
    Note: A joint registry with the city of Portland.
        Forms: co.multnomah.or.us/dbcs/assess_tax/dompar.shtml

Portland, Oregon (2000)
    $? fee.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Note: Joint registry with Multnomah County.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1998)
    Life Partnership Verification Statement
    $10 fee. Same-sex couples only. Required to cohabit. NOT required to reside in jurisdiction.
    Submit Statement to Commission on Human Relations. Termination upon death, file termination
    statement, effective after 60 days. 6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death
    of a partner. Enacted May 1998.
    Benefits: Tax waved on real estate transfers between members of same-sex couples.
    Benefits: Exclusion from real property transfer tax, benefits for City employees.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.

Puerto Rico

No known registration

Rhode Island

No known registration.

South Carolina

No known registration.

South Dakota

No known registration.

Tennessee

No known registration.

Texas

Travis County, Texas (1993)
    $16 fee, termination NO fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to reside in jurisdiction. Sign declaration form in front of Deputy
    County Clerk. Termination upon death, a partner files dissolution form and notifies other.
    6-month termination wait period, no exemption for death of a partner. Enacted October 1993.
    Only known place to register is in the Travis County Clerk’s office:
        5501 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751-1410; 512-854-9188; fax 512-854-4526
    Benefits: None specified. However, it is used primarily by Austin city employees as a
    partnership affidavit for medical benefits.
    Responsibilities: Share basic living expenses.
    Note: As of March 22, 2004, 665 agreements had been filed.

Utah

No known registration.

Vermont

Because of legislation, Vermont allows full legal marriage.
    Please see our article: Vermont Offers Legal Marriage

Vermont State
    “Civil Unions”
    $20 fee. Same-sex couples only. NOT required to cohabit. NOT required to reside in
    jurisdiction. Obtained in person from town clerks. “Certified” within 60
    days by justices of the peace, judge, or willing member of the clergy. License becomes a
    Union upon delivery to town clerk’s office where license was obtained within 10 days to
    be registered and legally binding. Termination same as dissolution of legal marriage;
    only in Family Court, by one of the partner residing in Vermont for a year. NO
    termination wait period (after year residency). Enacted July 2000.
    Benefits: Extensive. All rights given to legally married couples under state law.
    Responsibilities: All responsibilities given to legally married couples under state law.
        Forms: sec.state.vt.us/municipal/civil_mar.htm
               sec.state.vt.us/otherprg/civilunions/civilunions.html
        See our article: Vermont: “Civil Unions”

Virgin Islands

No known registration.

Virginia

No known registration.

Washington

Washington State - now offers legal marriage (2012)
    See our article: Washington Offers Legal Marriage

Washington State (April 21, 2007 - expanded June 12, 2008)
    Benefits: Covers many of the spousal rights that are offered to legally married
    opposite-sex couples. For same-sex partners, as well as opposite-sex couples in which at
    least one partner is past 62.
        [See the State’s form: “Declaration of State Registered Domestic Partnership”]
        [Also see our article: Domestic Partnership: The Washington Approach]

Lacy, Washington (2000)
    $25 fee, NO termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit, and
    live in jurisdiction. File notarized application and return to City Clerk. Termination
    when a partner files notarized termination notice with Clerk. NO termination wait period.
    Enacted May 2000.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment.

Olympia, Washington (1999)
    $25 fee, NO termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to be residents. File notarized registration form with City Clerk; filing by
    mail accepted. Termination when a partner asks for removal from registry via signed
    termination form. NO termination wait period. Enacted December 1999, effective 2000.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment
    Note: As of October 2005, 193 couples registered.
        Forms: www.olympiawa.gov/citygovernment/forms/dprapp

Seattle, Washington (1994)
    $25 fee, NO termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit.
    NOT required to be residents. File registration with City Clerk. Termination when a partner
    files notice of termination with Clerk. NO termination wait period. Enacted September 1994.
    Benefits: Mutual support.
    Responsibilities: Mutual support.
    Note: As of July 1, 2003, at least 1,372 registered, 157 terminations.
        Forms: cityofseattle.net/leg/clerk/dpr.htm

Tumwater, Washington (1999)
    $25 fee, termination $25. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. NOT required to cohabit.
    Required to be residents. File certificate of registration with General Services Department.
    Termination upon filing notarized form with General Services. NO termination wait period.
    Enacted December 1999.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment
        Forms: ci.tumwater.wa.us/City%20Departments/Personnel/Domestic%20Partnership%20Registration%20form.pdf

West Virginia

No known registration.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin State (June 29, 2009)
    Benefits: certain dependent or survivor benefits for employee benefits, health and mental health
    and after-death decision making, probate matters, property matters, motor vehicle titles,
    hospitial visitation rights, end of life decision making, to take Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
    to care for a sick or injured partner, or non-biological or non-adopted child. It also allows
    state government workers, as well as University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, to include
    domestic partners as part of group health insurance and retirement survivor benefits.
    Note 2: The anti-gay Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit against the state, in 2009, arguing
    that the domestic partnership law is a violation of the 2006 anti-gay constitutional amendment
    which bars marriage equality and recognition of any legal status that is “substantially similar”
    to marriage. After the State Attorney General announced that his office would not defend the
    state against the claim, Governor Doyle appointed special counsel to represent the state. The
    Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the case.
    Note 2: On August 18, 2010, the Wisconsin Family Action and the Alliance Defense Fund filed a new
    challenge to the domestic partnership registry.
        [Also see our article: Domestic Partnership: The Wisconsin Approach]

Madison, Wisconsin (1998)
    $25 fee, NO termination fee. Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Required to cohabit.
    NOT required to be residents. File application with City Clerk. Termination when a partner
    files notice of termination with Clerk, (effective 30 days after filing). 6-month termination
    wait period. Enacted May 1990.
    Benefits: Businesses in Madison that offer family memberships must offer them to partners and
    dependents, discrimination in public accommodations is prohibited on the basis of domestic
    partner status.
    Responsibilities: Contribute mutually.
    Note: Partners may be married to each other.
        Forms: www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/Documents/DomPartAppFrm.pdf

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1999)
    $30 fee, copies $10, NO termination fee. Same-sex only. Required to cohabit. Required to live
    in jurisdiction, must not be related to the degree that would bar legal marriage in
    Wisconsin, and must have at least one of the following:
       Joint ownership of a vehicle.
       Joint bank or credit union account or credit account.
       Jointly own or co-rent a residence.
       Wills naming each other as primary beneficiary.
    File declaration with City Clerk. Termination upon death, marriage, filing of termination
    statement. 12-month termination wait period. Enacted September 1999.
    Benefits: None specified.
    Responsibilities: Relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment.
        Forms: milwaukee.gov/display/displayFile.asp?docid=2607&filename=/User/webmaster/LicenseDivision/domesticpartnership.pdf

Wyoming

No known registration.

U.S. Military
No known registration. Currently, the military throws soldiers out of the service if they are known to be gay or lesbian.

Registration Outside the U.S.
Argentina: Buenos Aires (2002)
    Passed a Civil Union legislation in 2002.

Austria: 2009
    “Civil Unions” were instituted in Austria on December 10, 2009. The law became active on January 1, 2010.
        See our article: Austria: Civil Unions

Australia: Queensland (1999)
    Amendment to the five-month-old Domestic Violence Family Protection Bill. Enacted November 12, 1999.
    Benefit: Allows same-sex couples easier access to restraining orders and other protective
    measures, as well as to counseling services.

Australia: Tasmania (2004)
    The Relationships Act
    Effective on January 1, 2004
    Benefit: Ggrants same-sex couples nearly the same status as legal marriage.
    Note: The new laws - the first of its kind in Australia - recognize “significant and
    caring” relationships, using the word “partner” in place of “husband” or “wife.”

Belgium: cities of Antwerp and Ghent
    Benefits: None specified.

        Belgium provides legal marriage.
        See our article: Belgium Offers Legal Marriage

Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul (2004)
    Border state of Rio Grande do Sul passed a Civil Union legislation in 2004.

Canada: Province of Alberta (2003)
    Adult Interdependent Relationship Act (AIRA)
    Wording change of all family legislation in the province included common-law couples. For
    both same-and opposite-sex partners, as well as other relationships that comprise emotional
    and financial commitment. No waiting period. Same-sex couple may declare themselves as an AIR
    as soon as they wish. In effect since April 2003.
    Benefit: All the rights and responsibilities of legally married couples.

        Canada provides legal marriage.
        See our article: Canada Offers Legal Marriage

Colombia
    Civil unions

Ecuador
    Civil unions

France (1999)
    Both same-and opposite-sex couples. Passed on October 13, 1999, by the French National
    Assembly.
    Benefits: Some tax, legal and social welfare benefits, joint tax filing would be possible
    after 3 years, it would allow foreign partners to immigrate to France, requires employers to
    take couples’ joint vacation plans into account.
    Responsibilities: Makes partners accountable for each others’ debts.
    Note 1: Adoption not included.
    Note 2: Saint-Nazaire and six districts of Paris already had “certificates of
    cohabitation”

        France provides domestic partner status.
        See our article: France: Civil Solidarity Pact

Germany: Hamburg (1998)
    One partner must live in Hamburg. Enacted in August 1998.
    Benefit: Hospital visitation, access to medical records, share subsidized housing, allows
    foreign partners to stay in the country.
    Note: The first couple registered in May 1999. Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower
    Saxony had sought to establish registered partnerships with still more legal benefits, but
    they were unable to obtain the necessary federal approval.

        Germany provides a domestic partner status.
        See our article: Germany: Life Partnerships

Holland: many cities
    Domestic partner registrations.

        Holland provides legal marriage.
        See our article: Netherlands Legal Marriage

Ireland (2010)
    Registration
    Enacted July 19, 2010; Effective early 2011.
    Benefit: Taxes, pensions, property, tenancy, inheritance, alimony, immigration, social benefits.
    Note 1: Requires 3 month advance notice. Disolution requires proof they have not lived
    together 2 of the last 3 years.
    Note 2: Recognizes foreign same-sex unions, and provides some rights for unregistered cohabiting couples.

Italy: Florence, Pisa, Voghera
    Register of Common-law Marriages
    Benefit: None, symbolic only.
    Note: Pisa recognized the marriage of a female couple, recording it in the registry.

Mexico: Coahuila (2007)
    Registration
    Enacted January 11, 2007
    Benefit: Social security benefits, property, pension, inheritance and co-parenting rights.
    Note: Coahuila, a mining and ranching region south of Texas, became the second area (after
    Mexico City) in Mexico to offer a legal status. Legislators in the state Congress voted 20-13
    for the bill. The law was promoted by Coahuila’s Institutional Revolutionary Party,
    which rules the state. Debate for the law had begun in late 2006. The measure was modeled on
    France’s civil code.

Mexico: Mexico City
    Registration
    For any two persons. Voted November 13, 2006, effective March 2007.
    Benefit: Property, pension, inheritance and co-parenting rights. However, it does not allow
    full civil marriage, or adoption of children.
    Note: The municipal assembly, controlled by left-wing legislators, voted for the measure
    43-17, on November 9, 2006. The law was signed by the mayor on November 13, 2006.
    The registration offers the same financial and legal rights to an array of platonic
    relationships: between two longtime roommates, for instance, or between a person of age and a
    devoted care giver. Religious workers without children, such as nuns, also could benefit.
    Debate for the law started in late 2006. The law was modeled on France’s civil code.

        Mexico City provides legal marriage.
        See our article: Mexico City Offers Legal Marriage

Spain: Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Ibiza, Madrid, Toledo, Valencia, Vitoria, Catalonia, Spain
    Registration
    Benefits: Inheritance, spousal support, alimony.

        Spain provides legal marriage.
        See our article: Spain Offers Legal Marriage

Uruguay
    Civil unions are available nationwide, and allows same-sex couples to adopt.

U.K.: London (2001)
    Registration
    Instituted September 2001
    Benefit: The city government offers same-sex ceremonies. The Register does not confer the
    same rights as legal marriage, but proves the existence of an intimate relationship should
    there be legal dispute concerning issues such as tenancy, pensions, and immigration rights.
    Note: The “London Partnerships Register” made the Greater London Authority the
    first public organization in Britain to offer recognition to same-sex couples.
    
        Britain provides domestic partner status.
        See our article: Great Britain: Civil Partnerships

U.S. Registration Offered, Then Denied
Northampton (Hampshire County), Massachusetts
    May 1995 measure, approved by the City Council in May of 1995, was then repealed by voter
    referendum in November 1995.

Santa Clara County
    County Board of Supervisors voted for a registry in August 1996. They voted it out on
    February 24, 1998 in the face of a divisive referendum from the Santa Clara County
    Taxpayers’ Association. The registry was self-supporting. It offered no benefits.

Texas
    Travis County has filed domestic partnership statements since 1993. Signers are primarily
    employees of Austin seeking to qualify for its domestic partner benefits. It’s been the
    only Texas county to do so. Early in 1999, San Antonio gay activist Michael McGowan asked if
    Bexar County could also provide a registry. County clerk Gerry Rickhoff took the question to
    Bexar County  District Attorney Susan Reed, who wrote to Texas Attorney-General John Cornyn.
    On Dec. 16, 1999, Cornyn publicly released his opinion that the country could not, a
    decision that will affect all 254 Texas counties. Cornyn described the  “declaration of
    domestic partnership” as neither “required or permitted by law to be recorded”
    because they are used by those seeking to “alter their political or juridical relations
    with others, or to impose legal burdens upon third parties” without legal standing. He
    also wrote that even if they were filed, they do not “create a marital relation under
    Texas law,” even though the state recognizes common-law as well as civil marriages by
    opposite-sex couples. Now Travis County District Attorney Ken Oden will have to carefully
    review its registry process to see if it can continue.
        Please see our article: Common-Law Marriage States

Additions and corrections are welcome. Please tell us:
• Company Name
• Employer’s Home City
• Specific Benefits (i.e., medical, dental, life, sick/bereavement leave)
• Same-sex Only, or Both Same-and Opposite-sex Couples
• Affidavit Required?
• Affidavit Restrictions (i.e., couple must cohabit X months before eligible)
• Effective Date
• Verifying Web or News Article


For a vast survey, please see our:
Legal Marriage Report: Global Status of Legal Marriage




Governments that offer Full Legal Marriage
Nations

        Netherlands (2001)
        Belgium (2003)
        Canada (2005)
        Spain (2005)
        South Africa (2005)
        Norway (2009)
        Sweden (2009)
        Mexico City (Mexico) (2009)
        Iceland (2010)
        Argentina (2010)
        Portugal (2010)
        France (2013)
        New Zealand (2013)
US States and Territories

        Massachusetts (2004)
        California (2008)
        Connecticut (2008)
        Iowa (2009)
        Vermont (2009)
        New Hampshire (2009)
        District of Columbia (2009)
        New York (2011)
        Maine (2012)
        Washington (2012)
        Maryland (2013)
        Rhode Island (2013)
        Delaware (2013)
        Minnesota (2013)
        Illinois (2013)
        Utah (2013) - stayed, pending legal challenge
        New Jersey (2013)
        Hawaii (2013)
        New Mexico (2013)
        Michigan (2014) - stayed, pending legal challenge
        Oregon (2014)
        Wisconsin (2014) - stayed, pending legal challenge
        Arkansas (2014) - stayed, pending legal challenge
        Pennsylvania (2014)
        Indiana (2014)
Native American Tribes

        Coquille Tribe in OR (2008)
        Suquamish Tribe in WA (2011)
        Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in MI (2013)

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