Orange County Creates Central Florida’s Second Countywide Domestic Partner Registry

Ten municipalities in eight months move to model City of Orlando registry

The Orange County Commission has voted to create a countywide domestic partnership registry that will provide vital legal protections for gay couples and unmarried straight partners. Amidst a sea of red shirts, worn by the crowd in support of the ordinance, the measure passed by a 6-1 vote.

‎"We are doing something groundbreaking and providing important rights across the board", said Mayor Teresa Jacobs before voting for the registry.

Joe Saunders, Equality Florida’s State Field Director described the victory as a culmination of two years of education and grassroots organizing.

“I am very proud to see Orange County lead by creating a domestic partnership registry," said Saunders. "With their vote, Mayor Jacobs and the commissioners have sent a clear signal that Orange County is a welcoming and inclusive community.”

Orange County’s passage of the ordinance comes just four days after Volusia County Council members voted to create Central Florida’s first countywide registry.

When the City of Orlando passed a registry last November the victory sparked a wave of domestic partnership registries across Central Florida. So far Volusia County, Tampa and Gulfport have adopted similar measures and St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Belle Isle, Sarasota and Pinellas County have all begun pursuing domestic partnership registries.

In addition to the work of local activists, domestic partnership efforts have received a huge boost from business and community leaders who see such measures as important economic engines.

“Local governments all across Central Florida are following Orlando’s lead because they know it’s both fair and smart,” said Equality Florida Field Director Joe Saunders. “These communities know that any city or county that isn’t moving toward a registry is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting new employers and talented workers.”

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