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Long Beach to Debate Visitation Rights Plan

June 11, 1996

A proposal to establish hospital and jail visitation rights for gay and other unwed couples in Long Beach is expected to draw heavy debate before the City Council tonight.

Similar to a bill that was vetoed last year by Gov. Pete Wilson, the ordinance would allow domestic partners to register as such with the city, thereby affording some rights typically reserved for family members.

"To me this is basically . . . about human rights," said Councilwoman Jenny Oropeza, who said she would back the ordinance written by Councilman Alan Lowenthal, who was unavailable for comment.

Vice Mayor Doug Drummond said he would oppose the ordinance because it presents issues that should to be handled by state regulations. Nevertheless, Drummond called the idea of giving domestic partners access during instances like medical emergencies "very, very sensible."

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