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      Cleveland approves domestic partner benefits

      Cleveland will now provide health coverage for gay and unmarried partners of city employees. / File photo

      The city council has spoken--Cleveland will now provide health coverage for gay and unmarried partners of city employees. Those who signed up for the domestic-partner registry before May 1 will be covered at the city's expense--an estimated $101,155, based on 15 couples who signed up.

      The Plain Dealer newspaper reports the registry gives people in domestic partnerships a way of officially declaring their relationships as proof for health insurance and other benefits typically reserved for married couples.

      City officials estimate that only 15 couples would qualify, and that number may be high because those who signed up for the registry did not have to state their occupations. Some common names could fall off.

      The couples could upgrade to family coverage for an annual cost of $630 each. Based on the estimate of 15 couples, the city would pay a total of $101,155.

      Columbus agreed to offer domestic partner benefits to its workers last year.

      Should Toledo's City Council also approve a domestic partner benefits package? Leave your comment blelow with us.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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