Eagan residents in domestic partnerships will soon be able to register their commitment with the city.

The City Council voted Tuesday to establish a domestic partner registry for residents in mid-January.

"It won't change significantly anybody's tax burdens, but it will offer a service that somebody requested," said Mayor Mike Maguire.

The discussion of a domestic partner registry began in July when a resident asked the City Council members whether they would consider the idea.

Sixteen other Minnesota cities already have domestic partner registries, which give gay couples a chance to document their relationships. Among them: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Hopkins, Maplewood and Red Wing.

But an effort to establish a similar registry in Inver Grove Heights fizzled in the face of community opposition last fall.

One Eagan resident voiced his unhappiness Tuesday.

"Obviously, it's a stepping stone to find a way to have same-sex marriage," Tim Lewis said Tuesday. "I don't know why Eagan had to start that."

But Phil Duran of advocacy group OutFront Minnesota said, "This is a very heartening move."

He said city recognition will help couples to apply for benefits, such as life insurance.

Under the new ordinance, unmarried but committed couples who share a life and home in Eagan can register their partnership at City Hall by completing an application and paying a $25 fee.