A 12-year battle ended Monday when Columbus City Council approved health-insurance benefits for the gay and unmarried straight partners of city employees.

A 12-year battle ended Monday when Columbus City Council approved health-insurance benefits for the gay and unmarried straight partners of city employees.

"We will finally have health care for all of our employees that is fair and equitable," Councilwoman Charleta Tavares told The Columbus Dispatch.

The legislation, approved Monday, allows coverage for an adult who lives with a city employee and who can prove the two are financially interdependent. Employees must sign an affidavit that says the two have been in an exclusive relationship for at least six months.

Council approved a similar policy in 1998, then rescinded it to avoid facing a public vote. The issue resurfaced in February, when Mayor Michael Coleman restated his intent to pursue domestic-partner coverage.

Benefits will be available starting Feb. 1. For more info, click to columbuscitycouncil.org.