Red Wing PFLAG seeks couple registryA local gay and lesbian advocacy group is pushing for Red Wing to adopt a domestic partner registry.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
A local gay and lesbian advocacy group is pushing for Red Wing to adopt a domestic partner registry.
Instituting a registry would give local gay and lesbians couples some rights they don't currently enjoy and would be a show of community support, said Bruce Ause, a member of the Red Wing chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays.
"It's a symbolic gesture to the GLBT folk in town that they're a part of this community," Ause said.
Red Wing PFLAG members hope to hold a community forum in the near future, Ause said, and the group has asked the Red Wing Human Rights Commission to explore a registry program. The commission has agreed and will review the topic at its Feb. 17 meeting.
During that meeting the Human Rights Commission will hear a presentation from Phil Duran, a member of OutFront Minnesota, a gay and lesbian advocacy group.
In an e-mail to the R-E, Duran wrote that the primary benefit of a registry is it has a "documentation function," in that it formally recognizes a couples' relationship.
"The registration helps couples secure benefits from willing businesses or other institutions," he said.
Proponents have noted registries aren't a cure-all for same-sex couples who see a wide disparity between their rights and those of married heterosexual couples.
But registries can help, Duran said. He gave the example of a Rochester gym that had denied family memberships to gay couples. But after the city of Rochester instituted a registry and those couples could document their relationship, the gym issued them family plans.
Duran said a domestic registry also poses benefits to heterosexual couples who don't wish to marry.
If it sees fit, the Human Rights Commission could recommend the City Council adopt a domestic partner registry program. There are currently eight cities in Minnesota that have domestic partner registries.
Right now the commission is focused on learning more, said Chairwoman Joanne Pohl.
"We want to educate ourselves and then provide education for the public," Pohl said.