Domestic Partnership in Pensacola

I caught wind of a grassroots movement for Domestic Partner registration in the City of Pensacola. As a legally married lesbian (but still not considered legally married in Florida), I have a lot of mixed feelings and emotions about registering as a Domestic Partner. However, it certainly seems from what I’ve read that this registration could be beneficial to all of us. It’s happening at City Hall at 5 p.m., Thursday, November 14.

Here are the details, cut and pasted from Facebook (LesbianPensacola.com did not write this, and is simply passing on the word):

“Join us for this historic Pensacola moment! As City Council gears up to vote on the Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance, let’s put on our favorite red outfits and show them how proud we are!

Pensacola is moving in the right direction and our local government is gearing up to vote on an ordinance that will be good for ALL of our citizens.

SPECIFICS: If the registry passes the agenda conference on TUESDAY, it will be up for a vote on THURSDAY. Please come to City Hall at 5:00pm. The meeting starts at 5:30pm. Please wear red to show solidarity.

What does a domestic partnership registry do? Well, it’s NOT marriage, but it does afford some very important rights to Pensacola’s domestic partners:

• Notification in case of an emergency

• Medical decisions should you become incapacitated

• Healthcare facility visitation

• Funeral/burial decisions

• Pre-need guardian designation

• Participation in a dependent’s education

• Correctional facility visitation

Fortunately, registering as a domestic partner is easy and inexpensive. To become domestic partners, two people that meet the qualifications simply must go to the City Clerk with a government form of identification such as a driver’s license.

Applicants must be:

• Over 18 years of age and unmarried/not in a domestic partnership

• Not related by blood as defined by Florida law

• Residing together in a mutual residence

Here’s are some ways you can get involved:

1. Contact your City Council Member!

Find out who your representatives are on the City Council (http://www.cityofpensacola.com/council), then email their office and deliver the following message (don’t forget our two at-large members!):

“My name is [_____], I live in Councilmember [____]’s district, and I want to thank the Councilmember for putting the Domestic Partnership Ordinance on the agenda for the upcoming Council meeting. A domestic partnership registry would ensure that all Pensacola couples have access to vital protections in emergencies. This is the right step for our community and I urge the Councilmember to vote in favor of the ordinance. Thank you.”

Of course, a kind personal message always helps!

2. Tell Your Friends and Family

Make sure everyone in your networks knows what is at stake and is involved in helping secure this victory for Pensacola families. Opponents of fairness are expected to be out in force, so we need every supporter to make their voice heard. Pensacola Alliance for Equality‘s Facebook page and the ACLU of Florida will have tools to help supporters get involved and spread the word.

3. Attend the City Council Meeting

The Domestic Partnership Ordinance is likely to be a part of the City Council meeting next Thursday, November 14th. A core group of Alliance members are organizing to speak to make sure the most strategically-important messages get heard at the meeting and that we’re not repeating ourselves, but we need as many people as possible at the meeting wearing red so the Councilmembers see how much support there is in the community for a DPR.”