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New Domestic Partnership Registry Starts Accepting Couples

Three Gulfport couples waited outside Gulfport City Hall before doors opened at 8 a.m. to register their domestic partnership Monday.

Domestic Partnership Registry Begins in Gulfport

Partners Jan and Denise Lowe, Doug Hudson and Leonardo Robledo and Councilor Barbara Banno and Jeanne Kunkle gathered at Gulfport City Hall on Monday, June 25, for a historic event.

All three same-sex couples registered under the City of Gulfport's domestic partnership registry, the first couples to do so since the Council adopted the program.

Barbara Banno and Jeanne Kunkle celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary this past Saturday. The couple married in Canada in 2006. They say registering today is truly perfect timing.

"I'm ecstatic, it gives me goosebumps, I'm emotional, it touches my heart," Banno said.

Doug Hudson and Leonardo Robledo have been together for 11 years and have lived in Gulfport for nine of those years. They say today's actions prove they made the right decision.

"It's kind of overwhelming to me," Doug Hudson said.

"It just reaffirms our decision to move to Gulfport, when we moved here nine years ago," Leonardo Robledo said.

Jan and Denise Lowe married nearly two years ago in Connecticut and hope to ultimately have their marriage recognized in Florida. Until then, the domestic partnership registry is a step in the right direction, they say.

"The city has recognized our relationship," Denis Lowe said.

"I think it's a testament to this day that we have been in a torrential downpour, flooding and just now the sun came out," Jan Lowe said.

Gulfport Patch conducted video interviews with all three couples and will publish the video article Tuesday morning.

About the Registry:

On Tuesday, May 15, the Gulfport City Council , allowing non-married couples to receive about half a dozen rights and legal effects including:

  • Health Care Facility Visitation
  • Health Care Decisions
  • Funeral/burial Decisions
  • Notification of Family Members
  • Preneed guardian designation
  • Participation in Education

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