By: Lanetra Bennett
May 1, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Those in committed relationships - both gay and straight - are now extended some of the same rights as married couples in Leon County.
Today was the opening day for the county's Domestic Partnership Registry.
The certificate is stamped, making the 13-year-relationship between James VanRiper and Myles Robertson official in Leon County.
"Just a feeling of immense proudness, very proud." Says, Robertson.
VanRiper and Robertson were the first to sign when Leon County's Domestic Partnership Registry opened Wednesday.
The registry allows adult couples, who live in a committed family relationship, but are unmarried, to register their partnership with the Clerk of Courts.
VanRiper says, "What's most important is that this person right here takes care of me and I take care of him. We have a partnership, we have an agreement with each other. We're there for each other."
Registered domestic partners will have rights such as authorization to make health care, funeral and burial decisions and even establish guardianship.
VanRiper says, "It's a tiny step forward, we're moving in the right direction."
The registry is for gay and straight couples.
Michelle Allard and David McDevitt have been in a committed relationship for 12 years. They were the second couple to register Wednesday.
McDevitt says, "We've both previously been married. We do not have children. We don't really see a need to get married. We feel that this is the appropriate vehicle for us to further show the public our commitment."
Allard says, "We're just feeling very wonderful."
Couples must register in person at the Clerk's Official Records Office. All they have to do is bring I.D., sign the affidavit, and pay $50."
For more information regarding how to register, please contact the Leon County Clerk of Courts at (850) 577-4000.
You can also find information and frequently asked questions at http://cms.leoncountyfl.gov/Home/EngagingCitizensPartneringWithOurCommunity/DomesticPartnershipRegistry.
Press Release: Leon County Board of County Commissioners
WHO: Leon County
WHAT: Domestic Partnership Registry opening day celebration
WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8 a.m.
WHERE: The plaza area that leads into the Leon County Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office, 313 S. Calhoun St.
Leon County’s domestic partnership registry will open for business May 1, 2013.
The public is invited to attend the opening day celebration, which will be held on Wednesday, May 1 at 8 a.m., in the plaza area that leads into the Leon County Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office, 313 S. Calhoun St. Immediately following the opening events, which will include brief remarks from members of the Leon County Commission, the Clerk of Courts’ Official Records Office will begin registering domestic partnerships. Additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available from Leon County’s website at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/DPR .
Parking will be available in the public parking lot at Calhoun Street and College Avenue, and also along the street.
For more information regarding how to register, please contact the Leon County Clerk of Courts at (850) 577-4000. For more information regarding the opening day celebration, please contact Leon County Community and Media Relations at (850) 606-5300 or cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .