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Domestic partner ordinance passes in Rochester

City Council members in Rochester voted Wednesday to set up a domestic partner registry to assure that same-sex partners and others in non-married partnerships can visit their partners who are hospitalized.

That makes Rochester the fifth city in the state — along with Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Edina — to have such a registry. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester already allows those visitation rights to same-sex partners, said the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

Opponents tried unsuccessfully to delay the vote last night, but Council member Michael Wojcik pushed hard for immediate passage:

“This, to me, is not an issue of policy, it’s a matter of human rights,” he said. “If you ask me how long it takes me to vote on a question of human rights, it’s not one minute.”

And Council President Dennis Hanson, who initially favored a delay to give residents more time to weigh in on the proposal, changed his mind after the hour-long hearing:

“Hopefully, when I’m on my death bed, my wife won’t have to run home to get our marriage license to be let in,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going down the wrong path in passing this ordinance.”

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