The Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday to establish a domestic partnership registry.
The registry will provide partners with a document they can use for employee and health care benefits. At city-owned recreational and other facilities, those domestic partners on the list will be treated as married couples in regards to access and discounts.
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said the registry does not put employers under any new obligation. It is just a tool that they can choose to use.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community gathered at the meeting to show their support of the ordinance, share personal stories and discuss the benefits of the registry.
On Tuesday, the Vermont Legislature voted to override a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas, making same-sex marriage legal in the state. Vermont becomes the first state to make same-sex marriage legal through legislation rather than a court ruling.
Vermont joins Iowa, Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only states currently allowing same-sex marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold a lower-court ruling that a law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
Despite the ruling, a survey from October 2008 shows that 62 percent of Iowans oppose same-sex marriage, though many of those opposed favor civil unions.
The case originated in 2005, when six same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in Iowa seeking to marry.
On August 3, 2004, Missouri adopted an amendment to its constitution stating "that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."
With victories for proponents of same-sex marriage across the country, should Missouri rethink its amendment?