Unmarried couples -- same sex or not -- will soon be able to register their names with the city of St. Paul to get a certificate saying they're in a committed relationship.

The City Council voted 6-0 Wednesday to approve an ordinance setting up a domestic partner registry.

Couples would pay the city $20 and receive a certificate to be used as proof of the relationship to employers for benefits purposes or to hospitals for visitation purposes.

The certificates don't have broader legal benefits.

The city clerk will handle the transactions.

"I'm incredibly proud and thankful to the council, to the sincerity and work they put in," said Lucia Wroblewski, a St. Paul police officer who applauded the vote.

Nobody spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance during a recent public hearing.

Under the ordinance, registrants would need to say that they aren't blood related, are committed to each other, don't have other partners and are "jointly responsible to each other for the necessities of life."

St. Paul is the third Minnesota city to adopt a registry. More than 1,600 couples have registered with the city of Minneapolis, which became the nation's second large city to adopt such a registry when it approved an ordinance in 1991. Duluth's ordinance took effect last month. More than 60 U.S. cities and several states have domestic partner registries.

Mayor Chris Coleman will sign the ordinance.

Public art ordinance approved

The council also voted 4-2 to approve an ordinance that dedicates a portion of public project money to art. Under the ordinance: 1 percent of eligible project costs will be mandated for public art; 1/2 percent of the maintenance portion of the city's capital improvement budget will be set aside for maintenance and restoration; artists must be involved in planning early on, and donated art must be accompanied by a maintenance funding plan before it can be accepted.

Both ordinances will take effect in a month.

Chris Havens • 612-673-4148