Best repair to a region’s reputation

Domestic partnership registries on both sides of the Bay

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed off on the region’s first registry in April, granting unmarried straight and gay couples the right to register for medical and educational decision-making rights previously granted only to married couples. Gulfport, St. Pete and Clearwater soon followed suit, meeting so little protest that you might have thought that, hey, this wasn’t such a big deal after all. But in a state that fought gay adoption, constitutionally banned gay marriage and brought the world Anita Bryant and Ronda Storms? Yes, it was a very big deal, each one of those registries making national news. Despite Hillsborough County’s anti-gay-pride stance, Tampa Bay is showing the world that Florida — at least this part of Florida — is an increasingly open-minded place.

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