Full house as Tampa kicks off its domestic partnership registry listen06/25/12 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Couples in Tampa who want some of the rights of married couples, but either donâ€™t want to, or are legally forbidden from, getting married, can now sign up as domestic partners. At 9 a.m. Monday the city opened its domestic partnership registry and about a dozen couples were lined up to sign the papers on the first day. Justin Grant sat in a hallway with his partner Phil Wright.
Shortly after 9 a.m. in the Office of the City Clerk in City Hall Grant and Wright filled out forms that were notarized after being signed by Grantâ€™s grandparents. As they waited for the certificate to be printed, the newly registered couple celebrated with a kiss.
In addition to signing her name as a witness, Grantâ€™s grandmother Joan Welch came to show support.
Tampaâ€™s domestic partner registry provides only a fraction of rights that a married couple would get, and many of the couples hope to some day have full marriage equality. Kacey Crisler and Christine Sutton were first in line to register.
But Tampa Mayor Buckhorn says the city canâ€™t unilaterally provide marriage equality; itâ€™s up to the state and federal governments. Buckhorn says the City is doing what else it can because itâ€™s good for the economy.
Jon McGuffey says he and his partner Bob Rajtar are registering in Tampa, but would like all the rights of married couples.
Tampa City Council member Lisa Montelione registered with her long-time partner Josh Geary.
The domestic partner registry is also open to people who donâ€™t live in the city, but the rights only extend to facilities within Tampa city limits. There is a $30 fee to register.