Push continues for county-wide domestic partner registry - FOX 13 News

Push continues for county-wide domestic partner registry

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Community members gathered Tuesday to plan the next steps in their effort to get a domestic partner registry passed in Hillsborough County.

Last month, the county commission voted 4-3 not to move forward with a registry.

Members of Equality Florida, a gay rights group, gathered Tuesday to talk about the options moving forward.

Commissioners Mark Sharpe, Kevin Beckner and Les Miller in favor of the registry at their January 24 meeting. Sandra Murman, Victor Crist, Al Higginbotham and Ken Hagan voted against it.

Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, said part of the focus would be selling the commissioners who voted "no" on the economic benefits other counties have seen by passing a similar ordinance.

"I hold out hope, and I think the people here gathered tonight hold out hope that there are some among the ‘no' votes who will stand up and do the right thing," Smith said. "And if not, I guess people will set their sights on the elections."

The registry would have been similar to what is already in place in the City of Tampa: it would allow unmarried people in domestic relationships to make basic legal decisions for their partners. It would have included gay and lesbian couples.

The City of Tampa enacted its domestic partner registry last year. So far, 369 couples have signed up.

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