BREAKING: Orlando Domestic Partnership Registry Passes Unanimously!

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Posted on December 12, 2011 - 5:22pm by joe.

I've just left Orlando City Hall where moments ago Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Commission have voted unanimously to create Central Florida's first domestic partnership registry!

The registry, which takes effect January 12th, will extend vital legal protections to our families. Protections offered from the registry are restricted to Orlando City limits but we expect that couples from across the region will be lining up to participate.

When the registry goes into effect, any unmarried couple who lives, works or visits Orlando can gain the right to make medicial decisions for an incapacitated partner, be notified in a life threatening emergency, visit a partner in a health-care facility and participate in the education of a partner's children.

This is such an important step in our fight for equality and we're proud to have worked with some of the most dynamic leaders in the City of Orlando. For over a year, Equality Florida has been working with activists from the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee to lay out the social and business arguments for this important policy. From the outset we found a friend and ally in Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

"I support the domestic partnership registry because I believe it keeps us competitive with other world-class communities," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "A domestic partnership registry helps us recruit employers who share our commitment to diversity while attracting and retaining a creative workforce that knows they'll have protections for their families."

Today we celebrate the leadership of Mayor Dyer and the rest of the City Commission for making Orlando a welcoming city for all families.

Tomorrow, Orlando activists will continue the fight to bring these critical protections to all of Orange County. Our hope is that Orange County government will commit to taking the protections offered by the domestic partnership registry countywide. No couple should be forced in an emergency to decide between a hospital near them or a medical facility that would recognize their partnership within Orlando city limits.


Joe Saunders
State Field Director
Equality Florida

P.S. - If you live in the area join us for the victory party!
Tonight at 6:30pm the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee and our entire LGBT community will be gathering at Hamburger Mary's (110 West Church Street Orlando, FL 32801-3304) to celebrate!


Linda "P" (not verified) says:

December 12, 2011 - 5:52pm

FANTASTIC. Now, hopefully, the county will follow Orlando's wise decision of passing the Domestic Partnership Registry.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

December 12, 2011 - 6:01pm

Congratulations Orlando..Hopefully step by step, Orlando will be able to have just not Domestic Partnership but, legal marriages. I live in D.C. my wife and I got married in Boston and have our marriage legalized. Again, Congratulations Orlando for taking this HUGE step!

Larry Glinzman (not verified) says:

December 12, 2011 - 6:16pm

We're going for the same thing in Volusia County now that Orlando has taken the plunge !

charlie Latham (not verified) says:

December 12, 2011 - 6:29pm

It is a proud day for Orlando and a strong hopeful message to the state of Florida! Its a matter of EQUALITY not special rights, for special interest groups! A resounding AMEN!!!! Shout it from the mountain tops, "A change is a coming"

Anonymous (not verified) says:

December 12, 2011 - 7:24pm

FINALLY!!! It is not just about gay rights. There are plenty of straight couples who can't/don't get married for various reasons and it affected ALL kinds of couples. One giant step closer to treating all citizens equally. We make everyone pay taxes---why wouldn't we give them equal access to everything?

A HUGE congratulations to the Orlando Commission for their courage and for doing the right thing, regardless of how much people are going to protest. Special thanks to Patty Sheehan for living as herself with no apologies. We can all learn from that example--not just gays and lesbians.

Joe Saunders (not verified) says:

December 13, 2011 - 2:09am

Thanks to all who took time to share your thoughts. Gotta get a shout out to AJ who makes an important point. This is a victory worth celebrating because it gets vital protections for our families now while also giving us the stark realization that nothing can beat full marriage equality. Keep weighing in and keep sharing the news. The next step for our community is for people to REGISTER! They can't do that if they don't know it exists. :-)

Sandy (not verified) says:

December 13, 2011 - 2:58am

This was a wonderful night for civil rights. This was not just an LGBTQ ordinance but we needed this until the entire United States finally allows same-sex marriages. Many heterosexual couples also needed this. I come across in my line of work elderly couples who have divorced for financial reasons. But they still live together. Younger committed couples who choose not to legally marry. Many younger people have not made wills designating their choices or given their partners power of attorney. But tragedy can come at anytime; a car accident, work accident or other tragic scenario so this needed to be done. Thank you to all who helped this happen!

Tiffany Tindall (not verified) says:

December 13, 2011 - 11:57pm

Being gay as well as a critical care and emergency room registered nurse, I have known and/or taken care of so many couples in situations where the "significant other" of a hospitalized patient has no rights to receive and/or have any input on their partner while under the care of a hospital.

"Significant Other". What an obsolete title during a health crisis. For we, the "significant others", as domestic partners are insignificant when it comes to health care decisions at the most critical time.

The passing of the Domestic Partner Registry will now allow all families the right to legally participate in those decisions as well as may others. Not just the “legally”married ones.

Although this registry may only be in the Orlando city limits for now, it is still a FABULOUS start to truly becoming a country that stands up for and supports the rights of its citizens!

May we hope that the rest of the state of Florida and our country will follow in the amazing courage and leadership of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Commission having a unanimous vote to create Central Florida's FIRST domestic partnership registry.

This is just the hopeful start of an actual ‘united country’ of civil rights for all groups, not just the straight ones.

After all, our country is named the "United States of America".

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