Orlando City Council Enacts Domestic Partner Registry in Unanimous Vote; is First City in Central Florida to Do So

Orlando's City Council today voted to enact Central Florida's first domestic partner registry, the Sentinel reports:

Orlando"This is an historic event for Orlando, and it is a monumentally important event for our community. It will be the first time in our lives that our families are recognized by our government," said attorney Mary Meeks, who helped push for the registry. "At least here in Orlando, our relationships are recognized as real, and they are valued and they are accepted."

Once the registry opens on Jan. 12, unmarried couples — whether gay or straight — will be able to record their relationship in a government database for a $30 fee.

Registered couples then would have a few of the same rights that married people take for granted: the ability to visit one another in the hospital or jail, to make health care decisions for an incapacitated partner and to make funeral plans.

The registry would apply only to hospitals, funeral homes and other institutions located within the city limits, but couples who live outside the city are free to sign it. Orange County is considering bringing forward similar legislation that would apply countywide.

The registry begins in 30 days.

Filmmaker Vicki Nantz celebrates the vote: