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Starting Today Pensacola Will Recognize Domestic Partnerships

Jamille Ellingson

Beginning Tuesday cohabitating unmarried adults, gay and straight, will be able to register as domestic partners with the City of Pensacola.

Ordinance number 41-13 was approved in December, setting up a Domestic Partnership Registry, or DPR, and providing registered domestic partners with various rights and benefits. Sponsored by Councilman Larry B. Johnson, the DPR will also be open to those who live outside the Pensacola city limits.

“If you live in Cantonment and you want to come sign the registry, you’re welcome to do it,” Johnson said. “We really couldn’t just limit it to City of Pensacola residents only. Or we chose not to.”

In-person registration will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Room 200 on the second floor of City Hall, between nine a.m. and four p.m. by appointment only. The cost of registration is $60.

Once the certificates are issued, couples will be authorized to make decisions related to medical and death issues; visitation rights and the raising of children involved in their relationship. The registration also allows for them to be notified in case of an emergency.

Pensacola becomes the first Florida city west of Tallahassee to offer a DPR. Supporters hope this will create a “reverse domino” effect across the region.

Couples can register by mail or in person at City Hall. To make an in-person appointment, call the City Clerk’s Office at 435-1606.