Southold, N.Y., officials on Tuesday evening voted to become the third Long Island town with a
domestic-partners registry that includes same-sex couples. "It was the right thing for them to do," Adam Grossman, cochairman of the East End Gay Organization, which asked the town to take the action, told Newsday. "We're very excited about it." Grossman's group is trying to get all 10 Suffolk County towns as well as the county to approve domestic-partner registries for unmarried opposite-sex and same-sex couples. So far, East Hampton and Southampton also have set up such programs, as has the Nassau County village of North Hills.
The day after the unanimous Southold vote, Supervisor Joshua Horton called it "a positive and historic step that can improve the quality of life for many at the expense of no one," according to Newsday. The registry, which would allow nonmarried partners to collect benefits from their partner's companies if the employers allow it, is slated to begin early next year. In East Hampton, 63
couples, not all of them same-sex, have signed up since October 2002, and 25 Southampton couples have registered since last spring.