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Leon County Commissioners consider domestic partnership registry

Domestic Partnership
Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-19 10:39:09-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Leon County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing on a proposed measure to create a domestic partnership registry.

The measure, proposed by Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley would extend benefits, similar to those that married couple's get, to those who are registered with the domestic partnership registry, gay or straight.

Despite Florida voters approving a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2008, the local measure says it "shall not be construed as recognizing or treating a registered domestic partnership as a marriage."

"The county council finds that there are many individuals who establish and maintain a significant personal and economic relationship with another individual," the ordinance states. "Individual forming such domestic partnership often live in a committed domestic relationship. Domestic partners are often denied certain benefits and rights because there is no established system for such relationships to be registered or recognized.

Right now it's up to local governments to decide whether to create a domestic partnership registry. Soon there could be a state-wide registry. In January, Florida state Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) filed Senate Bill 196 which would extend some marital benefits to same-sex couples in Florida.

If passed by Leon County commissioners, the local registry would be maintained by the Leon County Clerk's office.

Public comments will be taken on March 12.