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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was on hand on Jan. 12 as dozens of gay couples lined up to register with the city as domestic partners. While the registry does not provide all the same rights and privileges as marriage, activists are calling it an important move. Florida has a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and Orlando is the first city in the Sunshine state to open a registry for gay and lesbian partnerships. After just a few days of operating , more than 100 gay couples registered with the city. The registry allows them to visit one another in hospitals or jails, make health decisions and plan funerals for each other. Insurance companies that offer domestic partnership benefits also recognize the registry as legal.

SNAP: Orlando opens domestic partnership registry

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was on hand on Jan. 12 as dozens of gay couples lined up to register with the city as domestic partners. While the registry does not provide all the same rights and privileges as marriage, activists are calling it an important move. Florida has a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and Orlando is the first city in the Sunshine state to open a registry for gay and lesbian partnerships. After just a few days of operating , more than 100 gay couples registered with the city. The registry allows them to visit one another in hospitals or jails, make health decisions and plan funerals for each other. Insurance companies that offer domestic partnership benefits also recognize the registry as legal.

SLAP: Gay commissioner files suit against Iowa governor

Iowa’s Workers Compensation Commissioner filed a lawsuit against Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad saying the governor asked him to resign twice and cut his salary in half because he is gay. The claim from commissioner Chris Godfrey asks for $1 million in compensation, which is common in cases such as this.  The governor’s office issued a statement saying Godfrey was requested to resign because there was an increase in workers’ compensation insurance. Godfrey said he will not be bullied and promises to make a stand against the governor.

SNAP: Marriage Equality in Illinois, Washington?

Both Illinois and Washington are taking steps forward to become the next states with full marriage equality. State representatives have been meeting in Illinois to organize a plan to pass a bill that would extend full marriage to gay and lesbian couples. However, it will most likely not be introduced until 2013. In Washington, state lawmakers are organizing and trying to collect the votes needed to push the marriage equality bill through the legislature this year. Gov. Christine Gregoire has promised to sign the bill.

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