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City Council Approves Ordinance Establishing Domestic Partnership Registry in University City

Starting June 1, U City residents can register their domestic partnerships.

University City has become the first municipality in St. Louis County to adopt a Domestic Partnership Ordinance.

Monday night, the council  voted to approve establishing a Domestic Partnership Registry in U City. Mayor Shelley Welsch said the registry will offiially open on June 1.

Councilmember Arthur Sharpe Jr. was the only councilmember to vote against the ordinance. Earlier, in the evening his wife Marian Sharpe gave an impassioned speech against the ordinance. She said she was disappointed in the council and Mayor Shelley Welsch.

Councilmember Sharpe told University City Patch that he was aware his wife was going to speak but he did not know what she was going to say.

To register a domestic partnership, two adults must share a common residence; consider each other immediate family; affirm that they share responsibility for each other’s common welfare; not be married to a third party; not be part of an existing Domestic Partnership with any third party; and be eighteen (18) years of age or older.

The cost to register a partnership will be $45.00 dollars.

Mayor Shelley Welsch and  Councilmember Terry Crow both worked on the ordinance and brought it jointly to the the City Council.

Councilmember Crow, who has two children with his longtime partner called it "a great night." 

"The number of our University City residents who spoke in favor I thought was absolutely incredible and I thought the comments from my colleagues on the council were truly heartwarming."

As for the handful of people who spoke in opposition to the ordinance, including Councilmember Sharpe's wife, Councilmember Crow said everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.

St. Louis City, Kansas City and Columbia also have Domestic Partnership registries.

However, U City's ordinance is essentially a symbolic gesture as it would not be legally binding outside of U City. Also, under Missouri law, same sex marriages are prohibited. The state recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman. The state statute on marriage and marriage contracts says that "A marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in this state even when valid where contracted."

Jessica Bueler May 10, 2011 at 05:01 AM
I am so proud that University City is the first municipality to establish a Domestic Partnership Registry in the St. Louis County. We have a long way to go, but it's a step in the right direction. All people should be treated equally. PERIOD. NO EXCEPTIONS!!
Holston Black Jr. May 10, 2011 at 05:49 AM
I don't know how I fully feel but to some people it is a crime, and if one commits a crime they shouldn't be treated equally. There are many people who honestly feel that this is a sin and no matter how many man made laws are passed they still feel that way. My cousin voted his heartfelt convictions and it's the way he and Marion have survived through life and will continue to do so. I felt that everyone was honest in their feelings but man made laws which are in conflict with someones GOD cannot be accepted. I remember when a young man tried to convince me to become a MORMON (before they changed and acknowledged that African American males could become priests), and I had two sons which I would never tell them they would have to be second rate because of their skin color. Religious beliefs have guided most of us through all of our lives and we don't discard them to satisfy man made laws.
larry nolan May 10, 2011 at 11:53 PM
I am very glad the city council voted in favor of this registry. I think it is just a matter of fairness. It doesn't require anyone to have a same-gender partner if their beliefs, religious or otherwise, or inclination is opposed. But a religious viewpoint held by some citizens to limit equality before the law should not be allowed. The registry doesn't harm anyone and doesn't compel anyone to register.
Sebastian Serra May 11, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Religious beliefs are also what took down the twin towers, thankfully we have "man made" laws.

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