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Pensacola OKs Domestic Partnership Registry Yr Ender

Domestic_Parternship.jpg

Beginning in March cohabitating unmarried adults – gay and straight – were able to register as domestic partners with the City of Pensacola.

Ordinance number 41-13 was approved in December, 2013, 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 was also opened to those living outside the Pensacola city limits.

In-person registration kicked off 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 was set at $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.

City Council chambers were filled with supporters on the night the DPR ordinance was passed after second reading. To Councilman Larry B. Johnson’s surprise, nobody opposing the ordinance came forward to speak.

Pensacola became the first Florida city west of Tallahassee to offer a DPR. Both Councilman Johnson and the ACLU’s Sarah Latshaw hoped this would create a “reverse domino” effect across the region – starting with the Escambia County Commission.

The County Commission has not had such an ordinance come before it, in the eight months since Pensacola approved its DPR. 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.