January 13th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

Orlando has first domestic partnership registration

Patty Sheehan, 50, and partner Jocelyn White, 31 have been together seven years, but could not legally visit each other as family in an area hospital, until Thursday. They were among Orlando’s first domestic partners to register in central Florida’s first domestic partnership registry.

“It definitely solidifies our relationship as far as legal equalities that it brings to us,” said White, a graphics artist for the city.

The registry allows unmarried couples, including heterosexual pairs, some of the rights as married couples, including health care and end of life decisions, jail visits, and the right to participate in the education of the couple’s children.

Orlando, Gainesville, and the south Florida counties of Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach have all added domestic partner registration laws.

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