Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater poised to create domestic partnership registry

CLEARWATER — Following the example of Tampa, Clearwater is poised to create its own domestic partnership registry.

The registry would be designed to ensure that unmarried couples can visit each other in the hospital and make medical decisions and funeral arrangements for each other. It would be open to heterosexual and same-sex couples.

"I think it's the right thing for us to do. I think it's the decent thing for us to do," Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said Monday, when he raised the subject at a City Council work session.

"I really don't see any downside to this," added council member Bill Jonson.

The mayor suggested that Clearwater follow the model of Tampa, which created such a registry earlier this month. Tampa's decision didn't cause any controversy there.

Cretekos, like Tampa officials, said the registry is not an attempt to legalize gay marriage; in fact, the ordinance establishing Tampa's registry says that nothing about it "shall be construed as recognizing or treating a domestic partnership as a marriage."

Like Tampa's registry, Clearwater's would be open to couples of two people who are 18 or older, are not married and not related by blood, who live together and consider each other as immediate family. It would recognize their ability to:

• Visit each other in health care facilities in the city.

• Make medical decisions for a partner who is incapacitated.

• Make funeral arrangements for each other.

• Be notified as a family member in an emergency involving a partner.

• Participate in the education of the child of a domestic partner.

Tampa was the first city in the Tampa Bay area to create such a registry. Its move has inspired St. Petersburg and Gulfport to begin looking into the idea.

Statewide, Orlando, Gainesville, West Palm Beach and Key West, as well as the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, already have similar laws.

The Clearwater City Council didn't take a vote on the domestic partnership registry Monday, and the subject won't be on the agenda at the council's regular meeting Thursday night. Instead, the council asked city staff to draw up an ordinance they can vote on in the near future.

Once the registry is approved, partners would register by going to the Clearwater clerk's office at City Hall, where they would have to present a driver's license or other state-issued identification so their signatures could be notarized. They would pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of keeping the registry.

While the registry would be open to anyone, the catch is that registration would only apply inside the city limits.

Regarding visitation in hospitals and health care facilities, Clearwater's registry would obviously affect Morton Plant Hospital more than any other location.

"They are comfortable with us going forward," Cretekos said of Morton Plant. "I think this is important for us to do."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Send letters to the editor at

Clearwater poised to create domestic partnership registry 04/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater Police investigating Mexican girl's injury at Scientology headquarters

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Police Department is investigating an incident where a 17-year-old girl from Mexico suffered a head injury Sunday at the Church of Scientology's international spiritual headquarters.

    A 17-year-old girl is at Johns Hopkins All Childrens Hospital after being injured at the Church of Scientology's international spiritual headquartersin Clearwater. JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

  2. City Council approves $5 million for Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion


    CLEARWATER — The City Council on Thursday approved contributing $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for its massive expansion project.

    Clearwater has agreed to contributed $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
's $66 million expansion project.. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium] 

  3. Live blog: Some scuffles, shot fired, but otherwise calm after Richard Spencer speech at UF


    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    A Richard Spencer supporter is escorted by police along Hull Road outside of the Phillips Center after the white nationalist's speech on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.
  4. This unidentified man was punched outside of Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville.
  5. Pentagon faces demands for details on deadly attack in Niger


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration had no answers Thursday to key questions two weeks after an ambush in the African nation of Niger killed four U.S. soldiers, prompting demands in Congress for details, complaints of Pentagon stonewalling and a comparison to the 2012 Benghazi attack. The White House defended …

    In this image provided by the U.S. Army, a carry team of soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), carry the transfer case during a casualty return for Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, of Lyons, Ga., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Oct. 5, 2017. U.S. and Niger forces were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders when they were ambushed on Oct. 4 and Wright and three other soldiers were killed. There were about a dozen U.S. troops and a company of Niger forces, for a total of about 40 service members in the joint mission. [Pfc. Lane Hiser | U.S. Army via AP]