As some Bay area counties move forward with plans to give same-sex partners more freedom to make medical and financial decisions for each other, Pasco County has yet to consider the issue.
Commissioner Pat Mulieri said on Thursday, the same day nearby Hillsborough was considering its options, that Pasco hasn't had the issue arise.
While Hillsborough Commissioners ultimately voted 4-3 against creating a Domestic Partnership Registry during their Jan. 24 meeting, other nearby counties and cities have adopted registries already.
In Hillsborough, the registry idea was proposed by Commissioner Mark Sharpe.
"As a citizen who lives in this county and as tax payer aren't they owed the respect and right to have these six basic rights and services that government itself provides," Sharpe said during Thursday's meeting.
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The City of Tampa approved a domestic partnership registry in April. The registry opened its rolls in June and so far 369 people have registered. Pinellas County decided to create it own registry last week.
Sharpe suggested patterning the county's registry after Tampa's.
Tampa's registry allows the following rights to couples who register:
- to visit his or her partner in health care facilities
- to make certain health care decisions for his or her partner
- to make funeral and burial decisions for his or her partner
- to be notified as a family member in case of emergency
- to be designated his or her partner's pre-need guardian
- to participate in the education of his or her partner's children
New Port Richey Patch Facebook fans were quiet on the issue when asked if it's time for the county to look into creating a registry. The question, however, quickly got 18 likes from followers.
In nearby Land O' Lakes, residents had mixed opinions.
"Yes they should," replied Land O' Lakes Patch Facebook fan Wendy Moller Seth when we asked if Pasco should pursue the issue.
Sony Fike-Wyman didn't agree. She simply wrote "no" to the question.
To be eligible for the domestic partnership registry, couples must be unmarried adults, not committed to another person through another registry or civil union, live together, and agree to be responsible for each others basic needs.
About 16 locations in Florida have domestic partnership registries, including the City of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Clearwater and Pinellas County.
Do you think it's time for Pasco County to look into creating a domestic partner registry, New Port Richey? Share your thoughts in the comments section.