Equality Florida honoring Lindley

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Leon County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley will be honored Saturday by Equality Florida for her efforts to establish a domestic-partner registry for both straight and gay unmarried couples. She will be presented with the Voice for Equality Award during the Equality Florida Tallahassee Gala, which begins at 7 p.m. at Dorothy B. Oven Park.

Leon County’s registry guarantees a handful of rights to domestic partners, including the ability to visit their loved one in the hospital, make health-care decisions for an incapacitated partner and make funeral and burial decisions. Lindley, elected in 2012, proposed the registry after hearing about the need for one from the gay and lesbian community.

“It was a formal recognition by our county that all citizens are respected here,” said Lindley, former columnist and editorial-page editor for the Tallahassee Democrat. “In 10 years, this kind of thing wouldn’t even be remotely controversial. Our cultures change, times change, the pendulum swings the way people view things. It was the decent thing to do.”

Tickets for the gala are $50 or $35 with a valid student ID, and include valet parking. All proceeds benefit Equality Florida’s work, including a recent lawsuit to bring marriage equality to Florida. Visit www.eqfl.org/tallahasseegala or call (407) 376-4801.

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