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Pinellas favors domestic partnership registry; Largo waits

LARGO — The city has put plans for its domestic partnership registry on hold, with the County Commission scheduled to vote next month on a countywide registry that, if approved, would make city programs redundant.

City Commissioner Michael Smith proposed a Largo registry in July, and a majority of commissioners expressed approval during a discussion in September.

Like registries created in St. Petersburg, Gulfport and Clearwater, Largo's registry would grant unmarried couples, gay or straight, rights normally reserved for married couples, like guaranteed hospital and prison visitation, health care decision-making powers and notification in emergencies.

During the September discussion, though, a few commissioners said they wished the Pinellas County Commission would approve a countywide registry, saving staff time and answering any questions about what happens when a domestic partner's rights are tested outside city limits.

Since then, a majority of county commissioners have indicated support for a countywide registry, so city staff has stopped its efforts to put together one for Largo. The County Commission is scheduled to vote on the issue Jan. 15.

On Tuesday night, city commissioners passed a resolution, 6-1, supporting the countywide registry. Commissioner Curtis Holmes was the lone vote against.

"It's better if it applies to the whole county anyway," Mayor Pat Gerard said. "We (originally) did not think the county was going to do this . . . If they don't, we'll take it up again."

Will Hobson can be reached at whobson@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4167.

Pinellas favors domestic partnership registry; Largo waits 12/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 3:31am]
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