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Palm Beach Mulls Gay Partner Registry


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Palm Beach Mulls Gay Partner Registry

by Fidel Ortega 365Gay.com Miami Bureau

Posted: September 13, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Palm Beach, Florida) Palm Beach County could become the fifth area of Florida to offer a domestic partner registry. County commissioners will meet Tuesday to consider the proposal.

The county also is considering offering health insurance and other benefits to the domestic partners of its workers. The Palm Beach County government employs about 6,000 people.

Both plans would include same and opposite-sex couples.

"As our society grows up, this is something that makes a lot of sense," Commissioner Jeff Koons, sponsor of the proposals told the Sun Sentinel newspaper.

"It sends a message that it's an attractive place to come. It sends a message that we're welcoming and accepting."

Couples registered as domestic partners would be guaranteed the right to visit each other in hospitals, make health-care decisions for incapacitated partners, decide on funeral and burial plans and participate in educational decisions involving a partner's children.

The benefits package for county workers covers everyone except the Sheriff's Office.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office began offering its own health coverage to domestic partners in 2002.

The county's Risk Management Department has estimated offering domestic-partner health insurance would cost less than three one-hundredths of 1 percent of the $3.25 billion county budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

©365Gay.com 2005


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