The Punta Gorda City Council found that a significant number of its citizens establish and maintain important personal, emotional, and economic relationships with persons to whom they are not married. To the extent not superseded or preempted by federal law, state law, or other city code or ordinance, or contrary to rights conferred by contract or separate legal instrument, registered domestic partners shall have the following rights:
(a) Health Care Facility Visitation. All health care facilities operating within the City shall honor the registered domestic partnership documentation issued pursuant to this code as evidence of the partnership and shall allow a registered domestic partner visitation as provided under federal law. A dependent of a registered domestic partner shall have the same visitation rights as a patient’s child.
(b) Health Care Decisions. This section pertains to decisions concerning both physical and mental health. Registry as a domestic partner shall be considered to be written direction by each partner designating the other to make health care decisions for their incapacitated partner, and shall authorize each partner to act as the other’s healthcare surrogate as provided in Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, and otherwise as provided by federal law. Further, no person designated as a health care surrogate shall be denied or otherwise defeated in serving as a health care surrogate based solely upon his or her status as the registered domestic partner of the partner on whose behalf health care decisions are to be made. Any statutory form, including but not limited to, a living will or health care surrogate designation in the forms prescribed by Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, that is properly executed after the date of registration which contain conflicting designations shall control over the designations made by virtue of the domestic partnership registration.
(c) Funeral/Burial Decisions. Registry as a domestic partner shall be considered to be written direction by the decedent of his or her intention to have his or her domestic partner direct the disposition of the decedent’s body for funeral and burial purposes as provided in Chapter 497, Florida Statutes, unless the decedent provides conflicting, written authorization and directions during his or her lifetime that are dated after the date of the domestic partnership registration, in which case the later dated authorization and directions shall control.
(d) Notification of Family Members. In any situation providing for mandatory or permissible notification of family members, including but not limited to notification of family members in an emergency, "notification of family" shall include registered domestic partners.
(e) Participation in Education. To the extent allowed by federal and state law, and in a manner consistent with any applicable court orders, agreements or contracts, a registered domestic partner shall have the same rights as a parent to participate in the education of a dependent of the registered domestic partnership in all educational facilities located within or under the jurisdiction of the City. Any right to participate in the education of a dependent of the registered domestic partnership shall be exercised consistent with applicable policies and procedures of the Charlotte County School District.
Nothing in this Article shall be interpreted to alter, affect, or contradict city, county, state or federal law. This registry shall not be construed as recognizing or treating a domestic partnership as a marriage nor shall it be construed as creating any third party rights or actions nor shall anything in this Article be construed to impose liability upon a domestic partner for any expenses of his or her domestic partner.
A registered domestic partner may enforce the rights under this Article by filing a private judicial action against a person or entity in any court of competent jurisdiction for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or both, or such other remedy as may be legally available to them.