FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 28, 2004
NCLR, Save Dade and Equality Florida Applaud Passage of State's Most Expansive Domestic Partner Registry
(Miami Beach, FL, July 28, 2004) — Today, the Miami Beach City Commission passed a domestic partnership ordinance that is the strongest and most expansive in Florida. The new ordinance calls for the creation of a Domestic Partnership Registry that will be open to any two people, regardless of where they live.
In addition to the registry, the ordinance creates specific benefits and protections that apply to registered domestic partners while they are within city limits, including:
- Health Care Visitation at hospitals and other health care facilities
- Health Care Decisions with the same authority as a spouse
- Funeral/Burial Decisions
"The Miami Beach City Commission setout to create the strongest and most expansive domestic partnership policy possible, and that is exactly what they have accomplished today," said Heddy Penna, Executive Director of SAVE Dade.
The new domestic partnership ordinance follows on the heels of a 2001 policy granting healthcare and other benefits to city employees. That policy overwhelmingly passed by public referendum. Today's expanded ordinance also provides reciprocal benefits. Under the new policy, anyone legally partnered elsewhere will automatically have their partnership, civil union, or marriage recognized in Miami Beach.
"What sets the Miami Beach registry apart is that it is open to any two people wishing to register their relationship regardless of where they live in Florida or in the country," said Stratton Pollitzer, Equality Florida's South Florida Director. "This policy is a reflection of the welcoming atmosphere that has long been a part of Miami Beach,"
SAVE Dade led a coalition in partnership with Equality Florida to support passage of today's ordinance. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) provided legal expertise, as well as background and technical information to the coalition and City Commission.
"The City Commission worked very hard to pass this comprehensive ordinance that applies to the greatest number of relationships and provides every possible benefit within the Commission's jurisdiction," said Karen Doering, staff attorney for NCLR and consultant to Equality Florida.
Save Dade is a Miami-Dade based organization established to educate and to advocate for equal rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation, with emphasis on issues affecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Equality Florida is a statewide education and advocacy organization dedicated to building a state of equal rights for all Floridians inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.