The head of Equality Florida praised President Barack Obama Wednesday for voicing his support for lesbian and gay couples who want to marry.
This is a "historic day," said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida.
"The President's support moves us closer to the day when all Americans will be able to enjoy full marriage equality," Smith said in a written statement released this afternoon to the media.
On Wednesday, Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. During the interview with ABC News Obama stated that he's "always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly," Obama told Roberts.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," he said.
St. Pete Domestic Partnership Registry
Same-sex marriage is an issue being discussed at the local level in some Florida communities.
Coincidentally, on Thursday, the St. Petersburg City Council will be discussing the creation of a domestic partnership registry during a Public Services and Infrastructure Committee meeting.
The registry was proposed by council member Steve Kornell, who said if the city could add more equality for its citizens it should do so at any chance it gets.
The council voted unanimously on April 5 to further explore the registry.
Smith was there that day and told council that its decision would be good for business in St. Pete. She said similar registries have worked well in the state of Florida.
"Small businesses but don’t want to be caught in a bind, (by deciding) who are partners and who are not," Smith said. "The business community supports it because it improves the quality of life of their employees."
A domestic partnership registry would allow couples, gay or straight, to register with the city clerk’s office. After paying a small fee, couples would receive a certificate of registry that would allow domestic partners more rights in situations such as child education choices, medical emergencies and end-of-life decisions.
"I look forward to celebrating the passage in St. Petersburg," Smith told the council in April.
In an unscientific poll , 97 percent of respondents supported the city creating a domestic partnership registry.
Patch user commented, "I have lived in St Petersburg over twenty years and watched as we have grown to become a more progressive and thriving city. It only makes sense for our city to create a domestic partner registry which embraces all citizens in committed partnerships equal access to decisions, information, and visitation to and regarding their loved ones."