The Tampa City Council recently voted unanimously to move forward on the adoption of a Domestic Partnership Registry. When passed the Domestic Partnership Registry would allow domestic partners who reside within the city limits and register to have automatic rights to visit their partners in the hospital and to make health care decisions for the incapacitated partner.
These rights are particular helpful to same sex domestic partners who are unable to secure these rights through marriage. However, surveys have shown that nearly 9 out of every 10 domestic partnerships involve people of the opposite sex who choose not to marry for a variety of reasons. These domestic partners don’t even have the right to be notified or informed if their partner is involved an accident.
Other communities in Florida that have domestic partnership registrations include the cities of Orlando and Gainesville and Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Tampa City Council has asked the city attorneys to draft an ordinance as a first step.