ST. PETERSBURG— The city's domestic partnership registry opens today and will give unmarried couples some of the same legal rights as their married counterparts.
Partners can register from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Clerk's Office on the first floor of City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N. After that, registration will be open Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The City Council created the registry June 7. It is modeled after one Tampa approved in March and requires health care facilities to allow any registered domestic partner to visit his or her mate and make care decisions if the partner is incapacitated.
The new law also allows those partners to direct burials, visit partners at city correctional facilities, participate in the education of their partner's children, to be notified in case of a partner's emergency and to direct their partner's estate during times of duress.
The cost is $30, payable in cash, check or money order. Both parties must be present with photo identification to register.
No registrations will take place on Thursdays and Fridays because of council meetings and agenda preparation. Couples are urged to make an appointment by calling (727) 893-7448.