Avondale Estates, the home of state Rep. Karla Drenner, the first openly gay state legislator in Georgia, has now established a domestic partnership registry for its residents. The registry extends to lesbian and gay couples as well as opposite-sex couples.
While a domestic partner registry does not offer any legal recognition of a couple's relationship due to Georgia's 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the registry does add a level of symbolic recognition to couples and their relationships.
This new resolution should also help boost Avondale Estates' ranking from an 8 out of 100 with the Human Rights Campaign in its next "municipal equality" ranking.
Ricky Roberts, an LGBT activist in Athens, Ga., and employee of the University of Georgia, is calling on local and state LGBT rights advocates to sign a petition calling for the university to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees.
UGA began offering “soft” benefits to gay and lesbian employees back in May but fell short of offering many of the benefits, like health insurance, that advocates hoped.
Since then, a new school president has taken the helm at UGA and is not in favor of expanding domestic partner benefits, according to Roberts.
Domestic partners of University of Georgia employees may be eligible for some benefits by the end of the year, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
UGA President Michael Adams said he wants to make available "soft" benefits to domestic partners, such as dental insurance, by the end of the year. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Adams has written a letter to University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby "asking for clarification to make sure he can also extend health insurance benefits to unmarried partners."
The Savannah City Council is slated to vote on domestic partner benefits tomorrow and local LGBT activists are hopeful for a victory.