Columbia passes domestic partner law

COLUMBIA | Domestic partners are now legally recognized in Columbia after a unanimous City Council vote.

Elected leaders approved the new domestic partner registry Monday night. St. Louis, Kansas City and Jackson County already have such registries.

The legal recognition can allow partners to participate in health care decisions, burial arrangements and other matters. The law is not equivalent to legalizing same-sex marriage, and City Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe pointed out that private employers don't have to follow the registry.

Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004.