The Orlando, Fla., City Commission voted Dec. 12 to create a domestic partnership registry.
The registry is a first for central Florida, where religious right groups have long dominated in politics.
The registry takes effect Jan. 12 and guarantees that unmarried partners living, working or visiting the city – home of Disney World – can gain the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner, be notified in a medical emergency and participate in the education of a partner's child.
“For over a year, Equality Florida has been working with activists from the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee to lay out the social and business arguments for this important policy,” said Joe Saunders of the statewide EF civil rights group.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “I support the domestic partnership registry because I believe it keeps us competitive with other world-class communities. A domestic partnership registry helps us recruit employers who share our commitment to diversity while attracting and retaining a creative workforce that knows they'll have protections for their families.”
A victory party was scheduled to take place later Dec. 12 at the Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando.
The next step for activists with Equality Florida is to create a partnership in Orange County.