My Letter to the Eden Prairie City Council in Favor of a Domestic Partner Registry


I just got an alert from Outfront Minnesota that the city of Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis in which we have lived and in which I have worked for 8 years, is considering a domestic partnership registry. I sent this message to the mayor and three city councilmembers. I sent a slightly modified version to the one city councilmember who is clearly opposed.

[Mayor/Councilmember],

I’m so pleased to hear that the city of Eden Prairie has proposed a domestic partner registry! My partner and I lived in EP for three years. We now live in Minneapolis, but we do still own a house in EP (on which we pay taxes) and I work in EP.

I just read the Eden Prairie News article re: the January 5 city council meeting. I’m very pleased to hear that the city attorney and city manager could answer some of Councilmember Aho’s concerns. There are a few more I would like to address.

As you know gay marriage is already illegal in the state of Minnesota. Regardless of whether the people of Minnesota vote to enshrine bigotry into our constitution this coming November, gay marriage will still be illegal in Minnesota.

More and more Minnesota cities are creating domestic partner registries. Eden Prairie is not exactly leading on this, but would still be far far ahead of most cities. There was so much pride and enthusiasm when EP was named CNN Money’s Best Place to Live in America in 2010. This can only add another positive to the list of reasons why.

The following reason is the most impactful to me: The primary benefit of a registered domestic partnership, at this point in time, is for a person in a DP to take advantage of DP benefits offered by their employer. A private employer. My employer, [redacted], while it was owned by [redacted] and now as it is owned by [redacted], offers such benefits and requires documentation for them. Luckily we did not need them during the time we lived in EP because my partner is adequately insured by her employer. If we had needed any of those benefits, I would not have had access to them because we couldn’t have registered anywhere. This did play a small part in our choice to subsequently move to Minneapolis.

Regarding the concern that people may attempt to mis-represent the state of their relationship in order to register, I’ll suggest that it’s analogous to voter fraud in that there isn’t actually a problem there. Not to mention that people – straight and gay – do get legally married when they are truly desperate for access to health care regardless of the actual state of their relationship with the person they’re marrying.

Lastly, the absence of a DP registry in Eden Prairie does adversely affect some residents. Enacting a DP registry does not adversely affect any residents.

Thank you for your support of a domestic partnership registry for Eden Prairie thus far.

Erica Mauter (formerly of [address redacted])

The ordinance was approved!