Published: Dec 26, 2011 5:34 PM EST

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Orlando officials and gay advocates expect a rush of same-sex couples at City Hall when a new domestic-partnership registry opens next month.
The City Clerk's Office tells the Orlando Sentinel ( ) that it's accepting appointments for couples to sign the registry. All appointments for opening day, Jan. 12, are full.
The registry doesn't bestow the same legal privileges of marriage or a civil union. But couples who record their relationships in the registry are entered in a government database and will be able to visit each other in the hospital or jail, make health-care decisions for an incapacitated partner and plan a partner's funeral.
The registry also is open to heterosexual partners. It only applies to hospitals and other institutions in Orlando, though people living outside the city can sign.
Information from: Orlando Sentinel,

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