Right now, the City of Tampa is holding it's first hearing on a proposed domestic partnership registry. The room is packed full of supporters. Equality Florida's Tampa Development Officer, Ed Lally gave the following testimony to the Tampa City Council.
To watch the hearing live, click here.
My name is Ed Lally. My spouse and I have been together for 34 years. We moved to Tampa 33 years ago.
We chose Florida for the same reason many people move to our state: the sun and the beaches.
We choose Tampa because it was a city not yet too big and had most all the elements we were looking for.
We have watched Tampa grow from a downtown with one high-rise to a downtown with more than a dozen high-rises and three new beautiful museums. But more importantly we have seen Tampa grow as a city willing to embrace diversity and fairness at every opportunity.
Phil and I went to Canada in 2006 to get married because at the time there was nowhere in this country to get legally married. As you know, our country, our state and our city does not recognize out union thus denying us over 1100 protections and benefits granted to legally married people in this country.
And that is why I stand before you today, to ask you to adopt a registry that will give me a Phil access to a handful of crucial protections. So we don't have to worry that we'll be denied access to one another in an emergency. Take our city to the next level. Show that this is an inclusive and welcoming city in the country and approve the domestic partnership registry.
Thank you again for your past and continued leadership in making Tampa a city that welcomes and embraces all.