N.Y.'s Suffolk County approved a domestic-partner registry
on April 5, granting the area's gay and lesbian couples
hospital visitation rights and control over bodily
The drive for the
registry was spearheaded by Long Island's only openly
gay politician, Suffolk County majority leader Jon Cooper, a
Democrat from Huntington. All 10 members of Cooper's
Democratic majority caucus voted to approve the
measure, as did three Republicans.
legislator Cooper's domestic registry ensures that gay
and lesbian families in Suffolk County will be able to
access the myriad rights afforded them from both
public and private institutions," said Tom Kirdahy, a
member of the Suffolk County human rights commission.
"No longer will couples have to fear not having access to
their partners in hospitals or control over the
remains in the event of the death of their loved ones.
The legislature has taken a bold step in ensuring that
all Suffolk residents are safer in their homes."
Suffolk County has offered county employees health benefits
for their domestic partners and children. (The