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County in New
York rejects domestic partnerships

County in New
York rejects domestic partnerships

In a surprise move, the Nassau County, N.Y., legislature has narrowly defeated a plan to create a registry for unmarried couples to record domestic partnerships. The 10-8 vote, with one abstention, came after a heated debate Monday evening. "It is a very embarrassing moment," said presiding officer Judy Jacobs, a supporter of the bill, which would have allowed domestic partners of any sex to register with the county as couples without being married.

Opponents claimed the registry would violate social traditions and that its real purpose was to promote same-sex marriage. "A vote for domestic registry is a vote for gay marriage," said Paul Kosowski, a leader of the Nassau County Civics Association.

The proposal originated with the law body's 10-member Democratic majority. Democratic legislator Joseph Scannell surprised his colleagues when he voted against the measure. "The bill did not give any substantive rights," he later said. "In the final analysis, the bill does not solve problems. All it does is add confusion."

The law would have made it easier for a partner to receive medical insurance from a private employer or gain access to the other person during a medical emergency, among other things. Suffolk County, New York City, and Westchester County already have such registries.

Deputy presiding officer Roger Corbin, a Democrat, abstained from voting, saying he is a Roman Catholic who had been lobbied by Bishop William Murphy and clergy in his district. (AP)

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