Florida State Statewide Domestic Partnership Bill Back Before Senate Committee

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The Families First Bill, a proposed statewide domestic partner registry, is back before the Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.

On Feb. 19, the committee rejected the bill despite strong support from speakers in favor of the registry. Several of the Senators who indicated that they would not move the bill forward said it was because the bill was not specific enough in the rights it would provide domestic partners.

“I can't support this bill today because it is too broad; it is like a walking lawsuit. If we put together a bill like what Sarasota did, I'm 1000% there,” said committee member Senator Nancy Detert (R-Sarasota) at the previous discussion of the bill. “I'm very disappointed that I can't support the bill today.”

Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), who filed the bill in January, declared it temporarily postponed.

According to one of Sobel’s aides who did not want to be named, “There will be a significant substantive amendment to the bill that will be presented at this committee meeting.”

He said the amendment is still being finalized and details will be available early next week.

“The idea is to get this bill passed out of this committee,” the aide said. “We don’t want the perfect to get in the way of the good. It’s been so many years of having nothing that we want to give some statewide rights.”

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