Georgia Equality congratulates Avondale Estates on becoming the fourth municipality in Georgia to establish a domestic partnership registry, which will allow the city formally to recognize both same-sex and opposite-sex couples with limited benefits.
Same-sex couples in the state face significant barriers to accessing state and federal benefits due to an amendment to Georgia’s constitution—passed in 2004—that bans both same-sex marriages and civil unions, but domestic partnership registries have become an important way municipalities in Georgia can show support for their gay and lesbian citizens.
The new registry comes on the heels of three other jurisdictions in Georgia that have also established domestic partner registries: Atlanta, Fulton County, and Athens-Clarke County.
According to the Williams Institute, Avondale Estates has the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the state.
The establishment of the domestic partner registry was due largely to the work of Mayor Ed Reiker and Georgia State Representative Karla Drenner, who initiated conversations with city leaders about the importance of a registry for same-sex couples.
The press release from Mayor Reiker is below:
City of Avondale Estates adopts Domestic Partnership Registry and Certificate Program
On Monday, July 22, 2013 the City of Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to provide for the official recognition and registry of same-sex, as well as, opposite sex partnerships, residing within the City. Avondale Estates is one of the first cities in DeKalb County to honor and respect these partnerships and one of a handful of cities within the state of Georgia to take such action.
“The City of Avondale Estates is a diverse city.” stated Mayor Ed Rieker. “Adding this new service for our residents is a means of showing respect and recognition to the many couples we have living in our City that may want to receive a Domestic Partnership Certificate.”
Residents will be able to request a Domestic Partnership Certificate at City Hall during normal business hours and be entered into the new Domestic Partnership Registry. Pursuant to the resolution the couple will then be issued a Certificate of Domestic Partnership signed by the Mayor. This Certificate may make it easier for couples to show evidence to receive healthcare benefits, gain hospital visitation rights and access to other rights afforded to married couples.
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