The fight for Jacksonville equality is reaching its crescendo. The Jacksonville City Council will soon consider legislation presented to them which if passed would offer protections to the LGBT community. Currently, the Jacksonville human rights ordinance does not provide protection for the gay community. That means that those persons who are gay, lesbian, and transgender have little to no shelter from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.
There have been several Florida cities and municipalities that have amended or put in place legislation to protect this vulnerable segment of society. If passed the bill in Jacksonville would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Almost two weeks ago, Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn signed legislation that will put into place a Domestic Partnership Registry. Similar registries exist in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and more recently Orange County.
The requirements to register are many but usually require that, among other things.
(1) The couple resides in the county where they apply;
(2) each person is 18 years of age; and
(3) Each party agrees to be jointly responsible for each other’s basic good, shelter, common necessities of life and welfare.
The benefits can be huge, including the ability to visit and make decisions regarding health care and funeral/burial arrangements, pre-need guardian designation for incapacitated partners, and visitation rights in correctional and health care facilities.
If you are interested in learning ways in which you can protect your rights and the rights of your partner, contact a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Estate Planning Lawyer.