Many unmarried Floridians who live with partners in committed relationships are unjustly denied rights that married couples take for granted.
We’re talking about basics. The right to visit one another in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. The right to make health-care decisions for their incapacitated partners. The right to make educational decisions for dependent children. The right to make funeral and burial plans for each other.
Withholding these and other fundamental rights from domestic partners is particularly unfair to gay couples, who are barred by the Florida Constitution from getting married.
For the sake of equity — as well as the economy — state lawmakers need to redress this wrong.
Orange County, Orlando, Volusia County and Tavares have created their own local registries so that unmarried partners can sign up and secure their rights. Other local governments in Florida — at least 18 — also have approved such registries, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Leon, Broward and Pinellas counties.