Legal decisions and hospital visitation are among the rights currently not afforded to the nearly three thousand unmarried Pensacolians who cohabitate.
WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports a proposed ordinance could change that. If approved, the ordinance would extend those and other rights to domestic partners,both gay and straight, through a registry. Thursday evening, the Pensacola City Council will discuss the bill and have a first reading. At least 14 cities and counties in Florida,covering roughly half of the state’s population, have provisions for domestic partnerships. Council Sponsor Larry Johnson dismisses those who try to link this issue to gay marriage. The latter is outlawed in Florida by a 2008 constitutional amendment.
Sara Latshaw, Northwest Florida Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, applauds the Pensacola City Council’s willingness to tackle the issue of domestic partnerships. Latshaw told the Pensacola News Journal that we’re at a “tipping point” in how people expect their government to act when it comes to protecting their relationships.
The Pensacola City Council meets at 5:30 Thursday afternoon at City Hall. After the first reading, the ordinance comes up for the second reading next month. A final vote could also be taken at that time.