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Moab passes mutual commitment registry

The Moab City Council has created a mutual commitment registry, similar to Salt Lake City’s, which will allow employers within the city to offer benefits to those who sign up.

On a 4-1 vote on Oct. 22, the council approved Kirstin Peterson’s motion for the ordinance, creating a mutual commitment registry at the city recorder’s office.

Only council member Gregg Stucki voted against the ordinance.

If businesses in the city offer benefits to same-sex couples, they can use the ordinance as proof of the relationship. The couples will also gain access to city facilities and programs that their spouses or children have signed up for, including the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center.

The registry is only the second of its kind in the state, the first being Salt Lake City.

Moab Pride Vice President Jenn Oestreich was the driving force behind the ordinance. She said that it doesn’t only apply to same-sex couples, but also unmarried opposite-sex couples, people in committed friendships, adult dependents and anyone else who declares a relationship of mutual commitment.

“Overall, it’s a huge step, and I think it’s going to benefit a lot of people,” she told the Moab Times-Independent.

Registrants must be Moab City residents, provide three kinds of documentation that they share financial obligations like a joint mortgage or lease or loan, proof of a joint bank or credit account, etc.

The recorder’s office then gives a certified copy of the official declaration.

Stucki said he struggled with the fact that it allows unmarried opposite-sex couples to sign up through the registry.

“[They] already have a great way to show their commitment, and that’s marriage,” he said at the meeting.

Oestreich hopes that the registry will also give couples the same hospital visitation rights as married couples.

“My biggest concern as an aging person is having a partner (who) doesn’t have to go through a lot of red tape to be by my bedside,” she said. “This piece of paper will kind of cut through the red tape.”

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