Details for how a domestic partnership registry would function in Lawrence haven't been determined, but here is how it has worked elsewhere.
¢ Both members of the partnership normally are required to go to a city office - such as the city clerk's office - to sign documents in front of a notary attesting that they are in domestic partnership.
¢ Basic requirements for a relationship to be deemed a domestic partnership usually include that both parties be age 18 or older, live together, have an exclusive and mutual relationship, share the necessities of life and are financially interdependent.
¢ Some communities simply allow couples to sign a sworn statement saying that they are in a domestic partnership. Others require proof of joint ownership of property or joint residency, such as utility bills that show both names, proof of joint bank accounts or other similar documents.
¢ Most programs include a filing fee to cover the costs the city has to administer the program.
¢ Some communities allow heterosexual couples to register as domestic partners if they are not married. Other communities, however, do not allow heterosexual couples to be part of the registry because there is no law prohibiting them from marrying.
¢ Most registries also have a process where couples can dissolve a domestic partnership.
In Iowa City, Iowa, the program has existed since 1994. City leaders there said that the registry - which currently has 67 couples - generally has been well received. But Dale Helling, an assistant city manager, said he couldn't say that the registry has resulted in significant changes in the community's culture.
"I think it is something that has had an obvious positive impact on those who use it," Helling said. "But for the rest of the community, it is just a routine thing that we have now. You really don't hear much in the community for or against it."