The Tavares City Council has voted in favor of a domestic partnership registry, 4-1, on Wednesday, making it the first city in Lake County with the registry.
The ordinance allows unmarried couples protections that would otherwise be denied, including hospital visitation, emergency notifications, jail visits and domestic partner health insurance coverage--within the city limits.
City Council Norman Hope says the ordinance within city limits is important because the main hospital and county jail are both in Tavares.
"I live in a senior community and I have quite a few residents in that community that for whatever reason are not married but they live together and if they were to go to the hospital or to have a legal issue neither one of them could speak for the other," said Hope. "And to me that's wrong in the United States of America."
Older couples now have the right to help make major medical decisions and funeral arrangements with out the hassle of legal action, which doesn't always work.
More than 100 people filled the City Hall chamber cheering in support of registry.
The new ordinance goes into affect May 1.