Supporters not surprised Tampa domestic partnership registry passes unanimously

04/05/12 Janelle Irwin
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Tampa City Council unanimously approved a domestic partnership registry at that meeting today. A handful of speakers on the topic thanked council members in advance for passing a measure they see as a step toward equality.

Tampa resident Ed Lally is excited to have his partner home from the hospital. At the first reading of the domestic partnership ordinance, he told council members that it cost him a lot of money to have privileges that aren’t offered to same sex couples whose marriages are not legally recognized. Today, Lally said he was excited that the ordinance would be passed.

“After living here for 33 years, my partner and I of 34-years are proud to be part of Tampa because at every opportunity to embrace diversity and fairness the city council has always stepped up to the plate and I want to thank you in advance for that.”

Once in place, unmarried couples will be able to register with the city of Tampa as domestic partners. That will give them some of the same rights married couples enjoy like being able to obtain information when a significant other is in an accident and to visit them in the hospital. And council member Lisa Montelione reminded people that the ordinance isn’t intended to just help same-sex couples.

“My fiancé and I have been together, it’ll be ten years in November and I’ve always said that I’ll be the first one to register and I know that people are going to wig out – are going to fight to see who goes first, but I just have to go to the front desk here. I think I’m going to be first.”

And also today, St. Pete City Council unanimously voted to begin the process of drafting its own domestic partnership registry. Staff is now reviewing the language in Tampa’s registry for possible use there.

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