Hillsborough Domestic Partnership Registry Defeated
Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 21, 2013 - The Hillsborough County Commission has voted down a proposed domestic partnership registry.
By a vote of four to three, the Commission recently rejected a registry for unmarried domestic partners. Commissioners Les Miller and Kevin Beckner voted with Mark Sharpe, who sponsored the measure, to create the registry. Al Higginbotham, Ken Hagan, Victor Crist and Sandy Murman voted against it.
Zephyrhills divorce lawyer Marcie Baker commented, “This would have created a simple way for unmarried partners in the county to register for certain basic legal arrangements and protections. It is unfortunate the Commission did not see fit to create the registry.”
The registry would have afforded participating couples a host of legal rights automatically granted to married couples, including hospital visitation, medical decision-making, and arranging funerals. The proposal applied to both straight and gay couples.
One opposing Commissioner said that unmarried couples should take the responsibility to hire a family law attorney to make such arrangements instead of relying on the government. Another echoed a number of citizens who opposed the measure in saying that his vote was based on his Christianity.
The proposal's defeat goes against a strong area trend. Last year saw the creation of domestic partnership registries in Tampa, Gulfport, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. And in one of its first legislative actions of the New Year, the Pinellas County Commission created a registry as well. So far, 369 couples have joined the Tampa registry.
Community supporters of the registry have vowed to continue their efforts to pass the measure. Members of Equality Florida gathered in Ybor City to discuss how to move forward. According to Fox 13, the executive director of Members for Equality, Nadine Smith, said that they would try to convince the opposing commissioners of the economic benefits that other counties and municipalities have enjoyed as a result of domestic partnership registries.
Ms. Baker added, “A family law attorney can assist unmarried domestic partners in achieving most or all of the same legal arrangements that this registry would have provided. My suggestion to anyone who looked forward to the passage of this measure is to speak with an experienced family lawyer at your earliest opportunity.”
Marcie Baker is a partner in the firm of Alston & Baker, P. A. To contact a Zephyrhills Social Security lawyer, Zephyrhills accident attorney, or Zephyrhills divorce lawyer, visit http://www.alstonbakerlaw.com.
Alston & Baker, P.A.
5518 Seventh Street
Zephyrhills, Florida 33542
Alston & Baker, an Affiliation of Professional Associations:
The Law Office of Robert C.Alston, Esq., P.A. and
The Law Office of Marcie L. Baker, Esq., P.A.
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