Creating a Domestic Partner Registry
A Domestic Partner Registry is an ordinance that provides unmarried couples a few rights typically enjoyed by married people. Couples wishing to participate voluntarily register with their local government to be recognized as a committed couple, which are each responsible for the others well-being. Without recognition of the relationship, medical facilities can deny access to partners.
Your partner is ill and you take them to the emergency room….
Once there, you fill out the necessary paperwork. Your partner is called back to see the Emergency Room Doctor. When you attempt to accompany your partner, hospital staff ask you to remain in the waiting room. After you calmly explain to the hospital personnel you are domestic partners, you are told to have a seat in the waiting room. Someone will get back to you.
While the time ticks away, your partner becomes comatose. Since you are not recognized as next of kin, the hospital attempts to reach an out of state relative who will give the hospital permission to treat your partner. In the meantime, you are not able to see your partner, and you have no idea as to their condition. As you sit helpless and worried in the waiting room, your partner lies alone in a coma. How could this happen? It happened, because your relationship is not recognized, and you have nothing to support your status as a partner.
Notice the story above has no gender, age, or sexual orientation stated. This story is purposely ambiguous because this story happens every day to unmarried couples; both same-sex and heterosexual. While there is no denying same-sex couples encounter this type of discrimination on a larger scale, heterosexual couples are not immune to the denial of relationship recognition.
If you are not married, your relationship is not recognized by the state. If, however, you are fortunate enough to have a domestic partner registry, this tragic story could be avoided. The registry is NOT a replacement for marriage, but rather offers protections to unmarried couples, in the event of death, physical incapacitation, or hospitalization.
This website is a guide and should be used only as a model.