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Florida domestic partnership bill fails to gain support from Senate committee

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The sponsor of a Florida domestic partnership bill says she’ll rework it after the measure ran into opposition from her own committee.

Senate Children Families and Elder Affairs Committee Chairwoman Eleanor Sobel temporarily postponed a vote on her bill (SB 196) on Tuesday after acknowledging it would be defeated.

The bill would grant couples in domestic partnerships, whether of the same or opposite sex, many of the rights and privileges as married couples.

Opponents said it would violate Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. Supporters disagreed.

Eighteen Florida cities and counties already have created domestic partnership registries with limited rights such as the ability to visit partners who are hospitalized.

Sobel (D-Hollywood, Fla.), said she would rewrite her bill to more closely match the local ordinances.

Currently, 18 Florida cities and counties, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Broward County, allow domestic partnerships.

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