SARASOTA – Sarasota City Commissioners unanimously approved a domestic partner registry that gives same-sex couples the same rights to shared health care coverage, choices about education for their children, and other decisions.
Beginning December 4, both gay and straight couples can file under the guidelines. Sarasota joins other Florida cities including Gulfport, Tampa, and St. Petersburg in establish a domestic partner registry.
The registry guarantees specific rights, including Health Care Facility Visitation and Health Care Decisions, Funeral/burial Decisions, and Pre-need guardian designation, among other things spelled out by the ordinance. Under the measure, “two persons are considered to be domestic partners if: They consider themselves to be members of each other’s immediate family. They agree to be jointly responsible for each other’s welfare. Neither of them is married under the laws of the State of Florida, is a member of another domestic partnership, or civil union with anyone other than the co-applicant. They are not blood related in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other under Florida state law.
Each is at least 18 years of age and competent to contract.”