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Arkansas city
council approves domestic-partner registry

Arkansas city
council approves domestic-partner registry

The Eureka Springs, Ark., city council has given the green light to a proposal that will create a domestic-partner registry effective June 13, according to reports from the Associated Press.

On Monday the city council voted for the proposal unanimously, passing it for a third consecutive time. But opponents of the measure are angling to put the issue up for a public vote. The Reverend Philip Wilson of First Christian Church said he will need 144 signatures to force a referendum vote.

Mayor Dani Wilson said the measure is a win for human rights and would equally benefit both heterosexual and gay couples. For instance, she said, elderly couples who fear losing their Social Security benefits if they marry might opt to register as domestic partners.

But detractors note that the registry would conflict with a 2004 state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Eureka Springs, which has nicknamed itself the "wedding capital of the South," issues more than 4,000 wedding licenses per year while having a population of only about 2,300 people. The resort area is home to both a hippie community and a strong Christian conservative movement. Weekly gay and lesbian events take place even as the city boasts a museum dedicated to creationism. (The Advocate)

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