The Westchester County, N.Y., legislature has voted to establish a domestic-partnership registry that will make it easier for unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to get some of the benefits usually reserved for husbands and wives. The registry could help an unmarried partner collect life insurance, for example, or visit a partner in the hospital. The 12-5 vote Monday night was mostly along party lines, with one Republican joining the chamber's Democrats in support of the measure. County executive Andrew Spano is expected to sign it into law.
In New York City, which already has a far-reaching domestic-partnership law, the city council will soon act on a bill that would require the city's contractors to provide benefits to their employees' domestic partners. The bill was announced Monday by comptroller William Thompson and several city council members. Companies whose contracts are worth at least $100,000 would be affected by the law. The bill would apply only to those employees who are registered with their employers as domestic partners and recognized as such under city law.