Cape Coral approves DPR, 1st city in Lee County

By : Staff Report
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Cape Coral – The City of Cape Coral is now the first city in Lee County to approve a domestic parther registry. The DPR passed with a 5-3 vote, joining Punta Gorda as one of the only cities in southwest Florida to have a domestic partner registry.

At the city commission meeting on Nov. 3, Mayor Marni Sawicki and Councilmen Richard Leon, Rick Williams, Derrick Donnell and John Carioscia voted in favor of the registry, while council members Rana Erbrick, Jim Burch and Lenny Nesta voted against the registry.

The registry will grant couples in Cape Coral—who have marriages not recognized by the state or are unmarried—basic legal protections for funeral arrangements, hospital visitation rights and other scenarios.

Ken Shelin, Equality Florida Board Chair, drafted the ordinance. No details yet on when it will take effect.

During the meeting’s public comment session, supporters said the domestic partner registry is an issue of human rights, not just LGBT rights. People in opposition of the ordinance said it was a social issue that should not be dealt with on a local government level.

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