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Mark Sharpe responds to reaction he's getting to domestic partnership registry proposal in Hillsborough



Commissioner Mark Sharpe is getting a great deal of reaction to his proposal to create a domestic partnership registry in Hillsborough County, something other governments in the region have managed to pull off without much controversy. As is customary these days, he took to Facebook to more fully explain his rationale. In the comments field, one person, Ken Welch, chairman of the Pinellas County Commission, which has already approved such a registry, noted the timing (Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend). Hillsborough commissioners will take up the proposal Thursday. Here's what Sharpe said on Facebook Saturday:

"My explanation regarding DPR (written this morning to an angry friend) part I: The DRP can be used by any adults - not specific to gender. 2. Gov role is not to determine who or why, but in this litigious world, simply provides adults w/health, funeral, education, retirement benefit rights. 3. This issue is separate from the county engaging in recognition of certain groups or lifestyles - which is not our business either (though we should not be running around casting fingers at groups we don't want to recognize) - just don't recognize them if that's your preference. 4. This is America - we are all different & have a right to privacy - this affords all adults that right and does not require Gov to pick and choose who can visit who in the hospital or any number of other mundane activities. 5. This is not about Pride events or Marriage - but rather about basic rights. It does not confer financial benefits or even require a person to designate why - again - its NO-ONES BUSINESS. 6. The activists on both sides will use this for their own purposes and likely repel more people than attract - which is their habit. Finally - I represent 1.2 million people. I don't pick and choose - I represent all. Nor do I seek ways to divide people - that's for others - I simply want to allow residents to live in peace, as neighbors, respected and enjoying basic rights, without harassment. Again - I won't be signing Pride Proclamations or marching in parades, but I also won't be casting stones - just living my life - faithful to God, aware I am not Him, and always in awe of His creation."

[Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:32pm]


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