According to Northfieldnews.com:
the [Northfield] council voted to ask the Human Rights Commission to draft an ordinance and determine how it should be implemented and paid for.
While a registry like this does not provide the legal benefits of marriage, it does provide some key benefits like partner insurance, hospital visitation, tax benefits and others.
[Councilor Betsey] Buckheit says a domestic partnership registry ordinance has nothing to do with marriage for same-sex couples. She calls registries a civil rights issue, noting that while religious organizations can make their own determinations about rights for same-sex couples, governmental entities must not discriminate.
The separation of church and state; I’m glad that someone gets it.