Listed in many stories this week about Pinellas County's vote to offer a domestic partner registry is the fact that while seemingly every major local government in the Tampa Bay area has created A DPR in the past year (including Tampa and St. Petersburg), Hillsborough County remains a holdout.
But could that soon change?
This weekend the Tampa Bay Times' Bill Varian is reporting that County Commissioner Mark Sharpe (who has steadfastly stood with his conservative colleagues during his eight years on the board in not supporting any legislation that would benefit the LGBT community) has placed an item on next Thursday's agenda introducing the concept.
Commissioners Les Miller and Kevin Beckner support the concept, but that leaves passage of such a measure up to the four other Republicans on the board. As we've often reported, Hillsborough County has the distinction of being the largest county in Florida that doesn't include gays and lesbians in its human rights ordinance, as well as having the temerity to never remove from the books a 2005 ordinance banning gay pride events.
As any and every reporter covering this issue has to do, Varian went to his Rolodex and looked up David Caton and Terry Kemple, two of the most prominent critics in Hillsborough of anything that might reek of equal treatment for the LGBT community.