In the last few years, some cities in Minnesota have introduced domestic partnership legislation.
"Domestic partners" can mean any couple, including same-sex and heterosexual couples. The aim of domestic partnerships is to extend various benefits to any two adults in an exclusive committed relationship.
The benefits of being domestic partners can include access to healthcare benefits, life insurance in the same way as a married couple. Benefits available through an employer are provided on a voluntary basis and vary from employer to employer. Hospital visitation rights are also possible. The exact nature of the benefits provided can vary between cities.
The qualifications to apply for domestic partners can vary too. Generally at least one of the applicants must live or be employed in that city. The domestic partners must be over 18, they can't be closely related by blood, and can't have any other domestic partners. There is also conditions related to the commitment between the partners, often phrased thus: "are committed to one another to the same extent as married persons are to each other, except for the traditional marital status and solemnities", and "are jointly responsible to each other for the necessities of life".
As of early 2011, these cites in Minnesota have a domestic partner registry, with another anticipated soon. Measures to adopt domestic partnerships have generally been approved smoothly, so more cities are likely to join these ones soon.
Minneapolis was the first city in Minnesota to give couples the right to register as domestic partners. For a $20 fee, and completion of a simple form, any eligible couple can register as domestic partners.
St. Paul also registers domestic partners in a similar way to Minneapolis. Complete a form, and submit it with a $20 fee to the city to apply to be registered as domestic partners.
Edina recognizes domestic partnerships. Here's the form to apply for domestic partnership in Edina, and more information on domestic partnerships in Edina.
Maplewood recognizes domestic partnerships. The registry is more symbolic than practical, since the city doesn't currently extend benefits to domestic partners of their employees. But, it's a start. Contact the city of Maplewood for more information on how to register as domestic partners.
St. Louis Park recognizes domestic partnerships. Here's the form to apply for domestic partnership in Edina, and more information on domestic partnerships in St. Louis Park.
Richfield recognizes domestic partnerships. Here's the form to apply for domestic partnership in Edina, and more information on domestic partnerships in Richfield.
Another metro area city, Robbinsdale, approved a domestic partner registry in 2011. Both people must live at the same address in Robbinsdale, and register their domestic partnership at city hall.
The city of Crystal approved their domestic partner registry to take effect in December 2011.
Outside the metro area, these cities in Minnesota have a domestic partnership registry.
Duluth recognizes domestic partnerships. Here's how to apply for domestic partnership in Duluth.
Rochester recognizes domestic partnerships. Here's how to apply for domestic partnership in Rochester.
Red Wing is another Minnesota city to recognize domestic partnerships, available to any couple of which at least one person lives or works in Red Wing. Visit the City of Red Wing website for the application form, which should completed and delivered to the City Clerk.