THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced the introduction of legislation Wednesday that would expand the rights of city residents seeking protection from domestic violence.

Current state law allows only people who are married, divorced, blood-related or parents of the same child to get orders of protection. The Domestic Violence Civil Protection Act would allow unmarried people, including those in same-sex relationships, to obtain an order of protection in Supreme Court without having their partner arrested. Unmarried people currently must go to Criminal Court to get protection.

"We have families now in New York City who need protection, who are in domestic violence situations and need an easier route to an order of protection," said Quinn.

Bloomberg and Quinn are also taking the issue to Albany, asking state legislators to expand the definition of the word family to include all those not currently included in the domestic violence laws.

To watch Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn introduce Domestic Violence Civil Protection Act, go to channel 612 and select iO Extra.