Dunedin Patch's story last week asking readers what they think about Pinellas adopting a countywide domestic partner registry caught lots of attention.
Pinellas County expects to vote in 2013 on a proposal for a domestic registry that grants domestic partners — gay and straight — many of the same rights as married couples.
The provision would allow, in part, domestic partners to make health care decisions for each other, including for end-of-life care, among other things.
A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15.
Dunedin city leaders have not created a local registry like some other cities in Pinellas have (Gulfport, Clearwater and St. Petersburg). City leaders have said they wanted to wait and see what action Pinellas County leaders would take on a countywide registry before creating one for Dunedin.
City leaders have promised to watch the county vote carefully. They have said they would likely take action locally if the county does not keep with what city leaders wish for Dunedin.
Commissioner Ron Barnette, who has raised the issue of a local registry more than once among city leaders, says the city should receive a draft of the county's ordinance before meeting on Jan. 9 and 10.
The story attracted plenty of insightful comments on Patch, and below are just a few of them.
Lori: So if you are living with someone for 6 months and split you get the benies? Not right ... I lost my health ins when my husband of 25 years left to live with a tramp he met in a bar after 2 months...I lose my benies and she gets them? WRONG!
Melody Urso: Yes! Yes! Yes! There is absolutely no logical reason to not endorse same sex marriage and the benefits that same sex couples deserve. The same sex couples I know here in Dunedin have longer marriages than most others I know.
tony starez: I'll keep it short...I believe in equality!!
Maryellen Farinas: The only thing these ordinances allow is for living together couples to be able to take advantage of the benefits of the partner when they don't have benefits of their own. Just like a married couple would. It'll muddy the waters because it's easier to break up if you're just living together , but it is fair for couples who deserve and need these benefits.
-Ed Harris-: There are many people out there with strong religious beliefs that dictate they not condone nor recognize various other types of people who differ from their given religious beliefs. While individual belief is a cornerstone in our society, it is quickly forgotten that this practice is to be held privately, such as in your home, church or place of worship. In the public realm we are tasked with coexisting in peace. While perfect harmony and equality are a myth due to our flaws as humans it is not an excuse to not aspire or try. Most religions require their patrons to be the "better man", if you will. We live in an age of technology that permits most to know the historical facts of mans history without relying on one religious accounting. Same sex marriage predates the organized church and was conducted openly in the church until 1100 AD and then we moved into the Dark Ages, really need I say more. Just because you or your religion does not like, condone or permit same sex marriage, should have no bearing on and should never have a bearing on the law of the land in America. The people who don't like it have the same rights as the people who do like it. If you condone it practice it, if you don't condone it don't practice it. Our Constitution is very clear that all are created equal and all have the same rights endowed by their creator. Not your creator for me or my creator for you. In fact, your creator for you and my creator for me. We are not Gods, we are humans act like it!
What's your take? Should domestic partners be granted rights that are now only granted to men and women who are married?