ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Twin Cities suburbs of Crystal and Falcon Heights may soon join 11 other Minnesota cities by offering opposite-sex and same sex-couples a way to have their relationships recognized through domestic partner registries.

Those who back the registries say they are an important symbol of inclusion ahead of an upcoming vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage, even if the registries don’t have much legal authority, Minnesota Public Radio New reported in a story published Friday.

Minnesota cities can acknowledge the unmarried couples in their communities by registering their relationships at city hall, but cities don’t have the power to decide who can marry. However, registering with the city may be enough to get domestic partner benefits from employers that offer them.

Phil Duran, a staff attorney for Out Front Minnesota, which provides technical advice to cities on the registries, said the four most populous cities in the state already offer registries, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Rochester.

“What really changed was in 2010, Edina became the first suburb to pass an ordinance of this sort, and that seemed to be a game changer,” Duran said.

After Edina came the suburbs of Richfield, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Maplewood and Robbinsdale. Outside the Twin Cities area, there’s also a registry in Red Wing. Duran said more than 1 million Minnesotans now live in communities that have partnership registries.

“To some degree, the train has left the station,” Duran said.

The conservative Minnesota Family Council opposes the registries but hasn’t put much effort into fighting them, said group President Tom Prichard. Instead, the organization has focused its efforts on next year’s vote on a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the right of opposite-sex couples only.

“These efforts to pass registries, which don’t have legal impact but are more of a political statement, ultimately do point to the marriage issue because normally they’ve been a stepping stone from domestic partnerships, to civil unions, to ultimately marriage,” Prichard said. “And that’s why we think it’s important that people are able to address that ultimate question of marriage.”

Rochester has had its registry for about a year, and 21 couples have signed up. The first pair was Michael Fridgen and Don Lewis. Fridgen said they had already been married in Iowa when that state legalized same-sex marriage, and before that they had a private ceremony for family and friends.

“We’d already had those two experiences,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that going to the city clerk’s office would be as big a deal as it was. But it was very cathartic to know that in the actual place where we live, that we’re recognized and welcomed.”

City boards in both Crystal and Falcon Heights were scheduled to consider registry ordinances this week.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (35)
  1. Kevin says:

    Gosh did I miss that vote??????

    1. dholekevin says:

      Kevin, you miss everything.

    2. The Architect says:

      No vote is required, nor should there be one offered. Move on.

      1. Tony says:

        I don’t see how you can’t see the people in a democracy shouldn’t be able to vote on something. Maybe it should be more fair as in Either Ban or Allow gay marriage, but withholding it from the people just shows how you only want a vote if the majority agrees with you. Congrats on being Open-minded…. or is that crooked?

        1. The Architect says:

          Why should you get to vote on whether gays can have a partnership registry?

      2. Tony says:

        Also, if you don’t think there should be a vote, simply don’t show up an vote either way.

        1. The Architect says:

          Why should the people who hate gays get to vote on what gays can or can’t do, Tony? Do gays get to get together and collectively vote on what straights can or can’t do? If not, then you can’t get a group to vote on what they do either. See how that works?

          1. Cindy says:

            That has to be just about the dumbest argument I have ever heard!

            A group of “straights” voting?

            Do you mean society in general? we don’t break groups down to what their sexual choices are for a basis of voting.

            The fact is that society in general does not agree to being pushed around by 2% of the population. When things don’t go your way in the voting booth, you whine, stomp your feet and make ridiculous claims of discrimination.

            The truth is architect, you are nothing more than a hetrophobe

            1. The Architect says:

              How are gays pushing you around, Cindy?

              How will a gay partnership registry ruin your straightness, Cindy?

              I want specifics. No more of your BS.

              1. Cindy says:

                Throwing glitter, tormenting private businesses that don’t cater to your agenda, forcing your “lifestyle choice” into school classrooms, constant lawsuits on those that don’t agree with your choice, etc.

                How will a registry help your gayness? It wasn’t too long ago that you wanted society to “stay out of the bedroom” what happened to that? Now you seemingly want to force us all to look inside against our will and wonder why general society is offended.

                If my property taxes will be used to fund this registry that is non-binding, please justify the expense.

                there are just a few specifics

                now I expect more of your BS

                1. The Architect says:

                  I asked you a question. How does a gay partnership registry impact your life and your straightness and your kids?

                  Answer my question or tell me that you are unwilling or incapable.

                  Also, I’m not gay, Cindy.

                2. The Architect says:

                  “It wasn’t too long ago that you wanted society to “stay out of the bedroom” what happened to that? Now you seemingly want to force us all to look inside against our will”

                  We’re not discussing gay sex, Cindy. We’re talking partnerships.

                  Are you suggesting gay sex should also be illegal?

                3. The Architect says:

                  Also, you did not demonstrate even ONE way any gays are pushing you around.

                  You have no valid opposition to either the registry or gay marriage and it must drive you absolutely bonkers that all you have to fall back on for an argument is glitter and calling it a lifestyle choice.

                  When was your choice, Cindy? What a great day for men that day must have been. LMFAO!!!!

    3. Ben Dover says:

      REALLY VOTE? Why would we have to vote on basic human rights.

  2. Dave says:

    What is the point again? Just to waste more money? You’re really going to pay people to track people who are in a relationship when it has no legal ties? So really, just anyone that is dating can join the registry, they don’t even have to be living together? What about when they break up? It’s call f’ing facebook people.

  3. fred says:

    the government should move on to something more important… pretty much anything else

  4. The Architect says:

    You may not want to debate it, but you’re sure willing to throw down your opinion of it anyway, eh? Classy!

    1. molly says:

      Looks like you finally got your fat arss out of bed to make your daily ridiculous comments. Go back to your damp, dark basement, you pathetic moron.

    2. Yag says:

      Are you the guy who designed the Metrodome?

    3. Give me liberty says:

      To Architect.

      The debate should be about government boundaries, which no longer seem to exist.

      Next thing is you will feel entitled to register your special relationship with your right hand.

      1. The Architect says:

        You don’t get to decide what the debate should be about.

        If you feel motivated to seek out a legally binding relationship with your favorite masturbatory phalanges, that’s your prerogative.

        1. Give me liberty says:

          Nor do you.

          The founding fathers laid a framework with something called the Constitution after they declared their independence from the English government. That document granted the new government authority over specific issues, not whatever the lunatic left decided was the injustice of the day.

          Go register yourself if it makes you feel better.

        2. The Architect says:

          That’s funny. It also isn’t going to happen. Your kids WILL grow up with gays in the community and openly at that. Deal with it or move.

          1. Archie says:

            Hey Architect,
            You seem awful bitter about this whole gay thing. Did your Uncle Dad do something to you when you were just a lad?

            1. The Architect says:

              I’m not bitter about anything other than discrimination based on fear and lack of knowledge and that is what you are all displaying here.

              Nobody can tell me how a gay person being with another gay person hurts them or their marriage or their kids.

              Will you be the first, or will you run and hide without a valid argument or will you keep posting how gays are icky and want you to be gay too…. Time will tell..

        3. The Architect says:

          And I agree with your name. You definitely are a sickperv.

  5. Alex says:

    Kevin may be a bigoted racist, but must be doing something right if the small hateful minority gets to submit a a resolution to the voters. Looks like the majority will win this one when we let anyone get married come next nov.

  6. mike kiley says:

    Dear ArchitectA gay person being with another gay person does not hurt me.I have several friends and co-workers who are gay,so what.I do have a concern about the use of the word marriage.I grew up catholic and I am still a practicing catholic.The word marriage to me is a sacrament between a man and a woman joining together to become a man and wife.Perhaps using another word such as a union,or whatever other word or words.

    1. The Architect says:

      Mike, thanks for your honest response.

      Now, I have to tell you that I don’t really care that you think the word is a sacramant.

      Your religion does not define what I experience in my marriage or how I define it or how anybody else defines it or lives in their marriage. It’s not your business.

      You are welcome to FEEL this way, but you are not welcome to stop anybody else from doing what you’re doing, simply because you feel this way.

      1. Failed Architect says:

        Of course he’s welcome and encouraged to help put a stop to this gay marriage nonsense. The 2012 ballot is only a little over 16 months away and it will all be over for good.

        How does that FEEL, Lib?

        1. The Architect says:


          I don’t know the point of your comment. I’m not gay, so gay marriage does not affect me any more than it affects you. Also, and I know you don’t care, but I’m not a “lib.”

          But let me assure you, gay marriage and gay partnerships are not going away. Not ever. You can’t stop people from becoming gay, so that means they’ll always be with us.

          How does THAT feel, toolbox?

          1. Failed Architect says:

            Oh, I get it your a closeted gay liberal, don’t worry I won’t tell.

            “toolbox”? seriously?

            1. The Architect says:


              It was a better, less-insulting term than “Failed Architect” don’t you think?

              I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I know how you get riled up when you feel dissed. 😉

  7. mike kiley says:

    I know this is coming a day later,but I must say to the architect i enjoyed your response to my comments.This is how people communicate opinions to other people,in a kind,no name calling way.I am not planning on stopping anyone from doing what they want on this issue.Nor did I imply that,I simply stated my feelings and my opinion.Again thanks for your well thought out and kind response.I would enjoy sitting down and talking more on this or any other issues with you.

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