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Florida Domestic Partnership Registries and What You Need to Know

Whether you are planning a Florida gay wedding, were married elsewhere or just want your rights protected, learn how FL domestic partnership registries can help.

florida domestic partnership

About Florida Domestic Partnership Registries

If you are having a Florida gay wedding, have been married elsewhere but reside in Florida, or simply live with your partner and want to protect your rights as a couple then consider what the Florida domestic partnership registries can do to help.  Granted, they are not available everywhere in the state, but are being passed by cities and counties at a pretty rapid rate.  So, if there isn’t one available in your area now, there may be one soon.  What a domestic partnership registry does is it allows a couple to document their relationship in that particular city or county, granting them some rights.  Consider this story:florida domestic partnership

In 2007, Janice Langbehn, her wife Lisa, and their four kids traveled from Washington state to Miami to take a cruise to escape the winter. But before they even boarded the ship, Lisa collapsed, suffering a brain aneurysm. She was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center where a social worker told Janice that she was in “an anti-gay city and state” and would not be able to see Lisa or learn about her condition without a healthcare proxy. That’s because at the time, Miami-Dade County and Florida did not formally recognize domestic partnerships. As Lisa’s conditioned worsened over the day and night and she was moved to Neuro ICU, Janice says she was kept in the dark although she and Lisa had a living will and power of attorney for health care decisions. Janice and her kids were finally able to see Lisa for ten minutes before she died. Read more of her story here.

“It’s time for government to get out the way of people who simply want to take care of their loved ones.  -Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

In 2008, Miami-Dade created a domestic partnership registry, granting hospital and jail Domestic Partnership Registrationvisitation rights to couples like Janice and Lisa.  Unfortunately, a State-wide domestic partnership bill slid right under the table this year, so we are left with county and city recognitions for the time being.  Regardless, if you live in one of the areas listed below it’s important that you take full advantage of this so that the protections are there when you need them:

Domestic Partnership Registries in Florida

  • Broward County (Fort Lauderdale): Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Clearwater: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Gainesville: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Key West: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Kissimmee: Employees of the city. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Leon County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Miami Beach: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Miami-Dade County: Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. The cities of Miami and South Miami also grant additional benefits to domestic partners registered in Miami-Dade County.
  • Monroe County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. County employment benefits only.
  • Orange County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Orlando: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Palm Beach County: Residents of the county or at least one partner employed by the county. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Pinellas County: Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Sarasota: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples. City employment benefits only.
  • City of St. Cloud: Employees of the city. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of St. Petersburg: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Tampa: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of Tavares: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • Volusia County: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.
  • City of West Palm Beach: No residency requirement. Both opposite- and same-sex couples.

We don’t claim this to be a complete list (but it’s close) – and we promise to update it as more domestic partnership registries in Florida are opened up.  In the mean time, grab your partner and get down there to register so that your rights are protected.

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