April 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Proposed Fla. DP registry advances
Eleanor Sobel, Florida, gay news, Washington Blade

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel (Photo public domain)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—A Florida Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would create a statewide domestic partnership registry.

The Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elders Affairs backed Senate Bill 196 that state Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Miami) by a 5-4 vote margin.

“This is the first time the Florida Legislature has ever voted to recognize same-sex relationships — and provide protections for committed couples all over the state of Florida who cannot or choose not to be married,” Mallory Wells, public policy director of Equality Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times. “It certainly is a historic day for us.”

Roughly 50 percent of Floridians now live in jurisdictions with domestic partner registries. It appears unlikely the proposal will pass this year in the state legislature.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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