SUN BURNED

Florida Mayor Pussies Out On Domestic Registry For LGBT Couples

Teresa Jacobs, the mayor of Orange County, Florida, seems to support LGBT couples gaining basic rights like hospital visitations.

She’s just got a funny way of showing it.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that a domestic registry has been suggested to allow for such rights in the absence of marriage equality. But Jacobs wants to hold out for a database, that  “anyone—including people who don’t live together—could use to say who they want to handle such power-of-attorney type issues,” with “legal paperwork assigning certain rights to another person for a small $10 fee.”

Right, because paperwork always makes things better.

Orlando, the county seat of Orange County, has already passed a traditional registry, which goes into effect Thursday. Jacobs could practically Xerox the thing and be done with it. But it looks like Her Honor is trying to play it both ways—dangling a crumb before the LGBT community while still appealing to Sunshine State homophobes.

Meanwhile, proponents of the registry claim to already have five votes out of seven on the issue, so the Mayor’s consent may not be crucial. Of course, somebody would have to cross Jacobs to bring it to a vote.

A brave politician? We won’t hold our breath.

The Sentinel story suggests Jacobs really needs to get her story straight (as it were):

Another interesting wrinkle: In defining what she’s looking to create, Jacobs has regularly referenced Comptroller Martha Haynie as someone who could help implement her version of a registry.

But Haynie previously supported the Orlando version, and said Tuesday that she’s only told Jacobs that any system “didn’t need to involve a lot of work on the county side.” The two never discussed what protections would be secured with one, or the need for creating an ordinance to make sure the database were enforceable, she said.

“It would be easy to find and record [couples’ names], but it doesn’t address the issue of enforceability,” Haynie said.

The mayor said she doesn’t see the need for passing an ordinance and is reluctant to carve out rights for gay couples that might otherwise be prohibited by law.

We hope Jacobs is never unable to be by her husband, Bruce, or her kids, Joshua, Max, Lisa and Chase, if they’re ever in need. That’s a pain we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies—a list Jacobs is slowly climbing.

[Source: Orlando Sentinel]