Ulster County Legislature Adopts Local Law Authorizing Domestic Partner Registry

Posted August 17, 2023

(Kingston, NY) – Last night the Ulster County Legislature unanimously adopted Proposed Local Law No. 7 of 2023, which will authorize the creation of a County registry for those in Domestic Partnerships. Under the Proposed Local Law, the County Clerk shall maintain the registry of Domestic Partnerships, which will remain confidential and grant certifications recognizing the partnership to those who register. 

The COVID-19 Pandemic demonstrated the need for those who are not married but in a committed relationship to have a means for legal authority to visit their partner in the hospital, sign a lease together, claim next of kin benefits and other privileges allowed under state law.  

“We now join our neighboring counties of Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, and Delaware in offering a Domestic Partnership Registry. By adopting this Proposed Local Law, we are ensuring County residents receive equal benefits for their loved ones and recognizing the legitimacy and strength of domestic partnerships," said Vice Chair Peter Criswell (District 7 – City of Kingston), co-author of the Proposed Local Law. "I am especially pleased to co-sponsor this bill with my Republican colleague Legislator Gina Hansut and am grateful to County Clerk Postupack for bringing this need to the Legislature's attention.”  

“Passage of this Law will not only bring clarity of rights for those in domestic partnerships, but also bring uniformity among the other Counties across the State that share this policy. I thank County Clerk Postupack for bringing this to the attention of the Legislature and for her advocacy, along with my co-sponsor Legislator Peter Criswell,” said Legislator Gina Hansut (District 10 – Highland & Marlborough), co-author of the Proposed Local Law. 

"Today marks a significant stride forward as Ulster County’s commitment to equal opportunity and the recognition of strong, committed relationships becomes a reality. I am proud to witness the tangible outcomes through the collective efforts of County Legislators, Peter Criswell and Gina Hansut, and County Executive, Jen Metzger to create a more inclusive and compassionate society for all residents,” said Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack. “This law not only reflects our values but also addresses critical needs highlighted by the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, ensuring that domestic partners have the legal means to secure their bonds and safeguard their futures.” 

Following the passage of the Proposed Local Law, the County Executive shall hold an additional public hearing within the next thirty days before signing into law. Full text of Proposed Local Law No. 7, including the necessary documentation required to file as a domestic partnership can be found here