Sarasota County on track to offer domestic partnership registry

By : Jamie Hyman
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Sarasota – Sarasota County is one step closer to become the ninth Florida county to create a domestic partnership registry thanks to a vote by the county commission on Nov. 6. Many credit the progress to a recent case in Venice, where a homeowners association attempted to ban non-married couples from living within its complex.

Like other ordinances already active in the state, this one allows couples hospital visitation rights, the ability to make medical decisions for one another and to create funeral arrangements. A domestic partnership registry is already active within the City of Sarasota.

“It’s all about love,” former commissioner Ken Shelin told the board. “Partners want to be together, love one another.
That’s a commodity government should honor and encourage it creates communal stability and economic stability.”

And while same-sex sex couples will definitely benefit from the ordinance, it will also help heterosexual couples who have chosen  to not be married, for various reasons, according to Sarasota County resident Klaus Obemeit, who resides with his long-term girlfriend and addressed the commission as well.

Supporters of the new registry showed up wearing read T-shirts to show a strong front. The unanimous decision means the county can move forward and file the ordinance with the state. Once that step is taken, couples will be able to register under the new law in 120 days.

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