She resisted it. I kept pleading my case to her. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t help it. I risked looking like a fool. She had left me once, twice before. But I knew in my soul this was meant to be. I just needed her to see it too. I think she saw it all along but she needed time. We fell in love. Hard. We’re best friends who get to be in love.
Yesterday was the first time our love felt diminished. We decided to sign the city’s domestic partner registry. We went down to City Hall yesterday morning and paid our $30 to be on the list. We have heavily laminated cards to prove it! Now the city has to recognize our relationship. We can visit each other in the hospital. We now have a say in each other’s health care and funeral/burial decisions. Oh, I can visit her in jail too. We now enjoy, the most basic of rights extended to married couples. We didn’t do this as a symbol of our love. We did this for our protection and our future family’s protection.
The women at the Clerk’s office were nothing but nice and welcoming – taking pictures of us once the paperwork was complete. I got the sense that they root for us. They root for more but this is where we’re at right now, so it’s a good start.
Orlando was the first city government in Florida to extend these rights to same-sex couples. Subsequently, there have been other local governments to adopt similar laws. There is a bill in the Florida senate to adopt a statewide registry. That bill would mirror the city registries and then allow for some estate and inheritance protections. Groups are already lining up to fight this saying it too closely mirrors marriage. But hey, we’re all good and recognized in Orange County. Gee thanks! This is precisely why we laughed off the congratulations from friends yesterday.
I don’t hold out hope for a statewide registry. I don’t take kindly to condescension.
- Florida Senate committee OKs ‘Families First’ bill which would create domestic partners registry (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Domestic partnership bill: One small step in rights for all (miamiherald.com)