Golden Valley this week became the seventh Minnesota city to pass a domestic partner registry.

The City Council on Tuesday passed the ordinance on a 5-0 vote after several residents spoke in favor of the measure. It allows unmarried, committed couples, both gay and straight, to register their relationship with the city.

Advocates of registries say the document that results can be used to gain health insurance from employers who recognize such partnerships or to gain hospital visitation rights.

"Beyond that, there's a sort of symbolic value to the registry," Golden Valley Council Member Michael Freiberg said at the meeting. "Golden Valley is a city with a very large LGBT population. Doing this is a strong showing of support for those residents.

"Hopefully if enough cities do this it will push the state to more fully recognize your relationships, which are as valid as mine is with my wife," Freiberg said.

Golden Valley's registry takes effect Jan. 2. The city joins Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Edina, Rochester and Maplewood in passing such a measure.

Phil Duran, OutFront Minnesota's staff attorney, told the council that he is working with five other suburbs that are considering registries.