Pinellas, Hillsborough & Leon counties have domestic partnership registries. Until Florida recognizes same sex marriages these registries are available to same sex partners giving them some legal rights. Couples would go to the county and apply for a domestic partnership registration. Just like a marriage license they need to be at least 18 years of old and provide identification such as a driver’s license or United States passport. Both parties need to attend at the same time when registering. The cost is $50. The domestic partnership is then registered in the county. Couples will sign the registration in front of the county clerk, and must have two non family members as witnesses. The staff at the county clerk’s office can act as witnesses. Couples will receive a registered domestic partnership card. Once registered the couples then would be able to designated health care decisions for an incapacitated partner, would give the partner visitation rights and gives authorization to act as a health care surrogate. Registered domestic partners are authorized to direct disposition of partner’s body for funeral or burial purposes unless other written documentation has been done. These are just some of the legal benefits of registering as a domestic partner. More information is available on domestic partnership can be found on county websites.
More information on Florida Marriage Equality can be found on http://www.eqfl.org/marriagenews Florida is fighting for marriage equality, and updates are available on the website.