Domestic Partnership Registry: Should Florida Have One?
The Florida Senate is considering a bill that would afford same-sex couples some of the rights married couples enjoy. We want to hear from you on the issue, Tampa Bay!
As local governments throughout the state grapple with the concept of launching their own domestic partnership registries, the Florida Senate is also taking up the issue.
If the bill sponsored by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, makes it all the way through the Legislature, the reluctance of some local governments to adopt such a measure could become a moot point since the statewide rules would trump all.
Domestic partnership registries are designed to provide committed, but unmarried couples, including same-sex partners, many of the freedoms married couples are afforded under the law. For example, registered couples have the ability to make medical and financial decisions for their significant others.
Some local governments, including the cities of Tampa and Clearwater, have passed their own domestic partnership registry laws. Others, however, including Hillsborough County have voted them down. Still others, such as Pasco County, have yet to take up the issue.
The Senate bill was intended to be taken up in committee March 12, but it was delayed by Sobel when a fellow Senator and supporter of the bill could not attend the hearing, Tallahassee.com reports.
While the fate of the Senate bill remains unknown, we’d like to hear from you on the topic Tampa Bay!
Do you think Florida should create a statewide registry? Or, do you think it’s a matter that should be left in the hands of local governments so decisions reflect a community’s values? Share your thoughts in the comments section.