Hoping to offer gay couples something akin to the experience that straight couples have when they marry at City Hall, workers at the city clerk's offices in the five boroughs will soon start performing ceremonies for couples seeking to register as domestic partners. "We thought it was a good idea," City Clerk Michael McSweeney told the Daily News, who explained they want to provide a more memorable experience for domestic partners. (The city has been registering domestic partners for seventeen years. Most couples who register are actually not gay.) It's a touching gesture for same-sex couples seeking to register — there's probably no place where the discrepancy between rights for gay and straight couples is more explicitly played out every day than in the city clerk's office. This will do something to mitigate that contrast — but it also will highlight it. The domestic partnerships being celebrated don't confer nearly the amount of rights and responsibilities that legal marriages do — with City Hall ceremonies, now they're just more convincing facsimiles.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images