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Domestic partners in Montana now have a place to register their relationships, the city of Missoula announced Tuesday in a news release.

In July, the Missoula City Council approved a resolution creating a voluntary Domestic Partnership Registry to support the right and dignity of unmarried couples to have their relationships recognized by the city of Missoula. Applying to be included on the list is voluntary; it doesn’t grant any legal rights to couples but may be useful for emergency workers or health care professionals to know whom to contact in an emergency.

City Clerk Marty Rehbein announced the city’s registry is open and accepting applications from same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners in Montana.

“Missoula is a beacon of hope for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Montanans,” said Missoula City Council member Caitlin Copple, who led the effort to establish the registry in Missoula. “We passed the first inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in 2010, and we are continuing to send the message that Missoula is a safe and welcoming place for all families with this registry.”

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When considering whether to apply, couples should be aware that the official application forms and the names of partners listed on the registry are public records and may be released to a third party, if requested.

“Coming out always requires bravery, and I’m proud that Missoula is offering one more way for couples who can and want to come out,” Copple said.

To be placed on the registry, couples must complete an official affidavit and application form swearing they meet the criteria, and sign it in front of a notary public. Domestic partners interested in registering can learn more and find the official form at ci.missoula.mt.us/partnershipregistry. Forms can also be picked up at the City Clerk Office, 435 Ryman St.

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​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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