Tampa’s City Council recently approved the creation of a domestic partnership registry, which will be open to the public beginning June 25, 2012. The cities of Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, and Gulfport have followed Tampa’s lead, and will all soon have domestic partnership registries. The Tampa Bay Times writes:
[St. Petersburg's] law…requires health care facilities to allow any registered domestic partner to visit their mate and make care decisions if their partner is incapacitated.
Since January, all hospitals receiving federal aid were required to allow domestic partners access to patients and the control of their care. A city registry would help local hospitals follow federal guidelines, said Jeannine Williams, an assistant city attorney.
The new law also allows registered partners to direct burials, visit partners at the city correctional facilities, participate in the education of their partner’s children, to be notified in case of a partner’s emergency and to direct their partner’s estates during times of duress.
“We’re very pleased the City Council gave us this right,” said Todd Richardson of Equality Florida. “It’s a huge step for the gay community.”
Any two people may register as domestic partners if they are 18 or older, unmarried, not blood relatives, live together and consider each other members of their immediate family.
To register for Tampa’s domestic partnership registry, beginning on June 25, couples may go to the third floor of the Old City Hall, located at 315 East Kennedy Blvd. Registration will likely be $30.00.
We will pass along information for the other registries as we receive it.