It is official! On Friday, April 13, 2012, a lucky day for domestic partners in Tampa, Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed the city ordinance instituting a Domestic Partner Registry. Domestic partners who register will be entitled to make health care decisions and funeral arrangements for their domestic partners, be entitled to notification by EMS and law enforcement if their partner is involved in an accident, and a number of other benefits already provided to same sex families. Domestic partnership registry can also provide the documentation of domestic partnership that is required by employer provided domestic partnership health insurance. Same sex and opposite sex couples can register as domestic partners. Tampa follows Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and the cities of Gainesville, Key West, Miami Beach, Orlando, and West Palm Beach in the institution of a domestic partner registry. Orange County and the cities St. Petersburg and Gulfport are each in the process of creating registries. Domestic partners that register in these other municipalities will also have to register in the city of Tampa to be entitled to the DP benefits. Same sex couples with marriages or civil unions from other states will also have to register. The benefits only apply within the city limits of Tampa. Mayor Buckhorn expressed his hope that Hillsborough County officials would extend the benefits to the entire county.
By Robert Sparks Attorneys