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Largo looks into domestic partnership
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Michael Smith
LARGO – City commissioners may further discuss adopting a domestic partnership ordinance similar to those of other area municipalities.

Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith asked July 10 whether commissioners had any interest in creating a domestic partnership ordinance.

He said that St. Petersburg recently adopted an ordinance that was “relatively well-written.” Gulfport and Clearwater have such ordinances, and county officials also are discussing the issue.

Smith said that the commission had recently talked about Largo being competitive with Clearwater in business development.

“More and more businesses are looking at this when they are looking at places they are moving to for their employees,” he said.

Having more cities on board would provide more positive reinforcement, he said.

“More and more senior citizens are not remarrying because of Social Security issues and pensions, and more younger people are not getting married because of the costs of getting married and other issues that relate to it,” Smith said.

Largo Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Harriet Crozier expressed interest in bringing the issue to a work session.

The St. Petersburg City Council’s ordinance says that a significant number of city residents establish and maintain important personal, emotional and economic relationships with persons to whom they are not married.

The council found that a domestic partnership registry is attractive to companies that value diversity and can assist the city in its economic development.

Among its provisions, St. Petersburg’s ordinance says all health care facilities operating within the city shall honor the registered domestic partnership documentation as evidence of a partnership and shall allow a registered domestic partner visitation as provided under federal law.

The ordinance says that the 2010 Census showed that more than 12 percent of Americans identified themselves in a domestic partnership, about 6.7 million households, a 25 percent increase over the 2000 Census numbers.
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