Without hearing a word in opposition, Tampa City Council votes to create bay area's first domestic partnership registry
It was a decision that showed how much Tampa has changed in two decades, and was remarkable for the controversy that it did not generate.
In a unanimous vote Thursday, the City Council gave its initial approval to creating the first domestic partnership registry for unmarried couples in the Tampa Bay area.
The registry will be open to both heterosexual and same-sex couples, but its City Council sponsor said it was not a step toward legalizing gay marriage.
Rather, Yvonne Yolie Capin said, it's designed to help ensure that couples can visit each other in the hospital, make medical decisions and funeral arrangements for their loved ones and be informed when a partner has been in an accident.
he vote came after an hourlong discussion during which the council heard from nearly 20 supporters of the idea but not a single opponent. Going into the meeting, council members had received nearly 900 e-mails about the proposal, but none in opposition, Council member Harry Cohen said.
That apparent consensus stands in stark contrast to the tenacious, vocal and well-organized opposition that rose up to fight Tampa's early efforts at banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Full story here.