Equality in theory: City of Decatur considering domestic partnership registry

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 15, 2013

EqualityDecatur City Commissioners will consider approving a registry that will allow same-sex couples to have their relationship recognized by the city.

Commissioners will have an opportunity to vote on the registry at their Dec. 16 meeting. A registered couple would receive a certificate from the city that acknowledges their partnership.

“Currently the State of Georgia does not recognize domestic partnerships,” Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne explained in a memo to City Manager Peggy Merriss posted on the city’s website. “The creation of a local registry allows us to provide local recognition of domestic partnerships that exist between City of Decatur residents. The attached resolution establishing a local domestic partnership register has been reviewed and approved by the city attorney. A local domestic partner registry allows our residents to register their partnership with the Decatur City Clerk and receive a certificate confirming that their partnership is recognized by the City of Decatur.”

This is almost certainly unrelated, but the Human Rights Campaign recently released its Municipal Equality Index. It found that Decatur had the lowest score of any city in the Metro area when it came to protecting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender residents, even lagging behind Avondale Estates.

The City Commission meeting is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 16 and will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street.  There’s a closed-door executive session meeting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss “real estate matters” according to the city’s agenda.

Here is the proposed resolution that, if approved, would establish the domestic partnership registry.


WHEREAS, the City of Decatur and its citizens value and support diversity and work to create a community that is open and welcoming to everyone regardless of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, sexual preference, transgender status or gender identity; and,

WHEREAS, the 2010 Strategic Plan created by our citizens includes Principle B which states we will “Encourage a Diverse and Engaged Community” as part of our community’s vision and goals and supports an open and inclusive definition of family; and,

WHEREAS, the State of Georgia does not currently permit same-sex partners to be legally married nor does it provide for any alternative options to recognize and record same-sex partnerships; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Decatur desires to provide for the official recognition and registry of domestic partnerships, both same-sex as well as opposite-sex partnerships, for citizens residing within our city limits; and,

WHEREAS, a “domestic partnership” for the purposes of this resolution is defined as “two people of the opposite gender or the same gender who live together in the mutual interdependence of a single home.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, and it is hereby resolved, by the City Commission of the City of Decatur, Georgia, that the City of Decatur establish a registry for domestic partnerships to be maintained at City Hall and issue certificates recognizing domestic partnerships when provided with proof that the applicants are bona fide domestic partners residing within the City of Decatur.



ATTEST: __________________________

City Clerk

This 16th day of December, 2013.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Margaret Master

    Does COD provide health benefits for domestic partners?

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