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Updated: 12/09/2013 07:38:01PM

Domestic partnership registry OK’d

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NORTH PORT — City commissioners unanimously approved a domestic partnership registry ordinance Monday that would allow for unmarried couples to share many of the legal rights and privileges of those who are married. North Port joins the rest of the county in having a similar ordinance, including Venice, the city of Sarasota and unincorporated portions of the county.

North Porters can now share in educational and health-care decisions with their partners without the need of a marriage certificate, by simply registering with the city for $30, using forms that will be available at City Hall and online by the end of the week. Domestic partners — whether gay or straight — can declare each other as their health-care surrogate, and make end-of-life and funeral decisions. City commissioners originally shot down the ordinance earlier in the year, but it was brought back by Vice Mayor Rhonda DiFranco, who championed its importance.

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