Historic Domestic Partnership Bill Introduced in Florida!

More great news from the Road to Equality: Equality Florida
announced yesterday the introduction of a historic domestic
partnership bill in the Sunshine State!

As you well know, Florida is one of the four states that passed
anti-LGBT measures last November; in Florida it was Amendment 2, a
marriage amendment.

The bill introduced yesterday will ensure basic legal rights for
committed, unmarried couples, gay or straight. The Family Equality
is proud to have written this bill with our partners in
Florida. We look forward to working with them throughout the
legislative process moving forward.

Read Equality Florida’s full announcement of the bill after
the jump:

Sen. Eleanor Sobel (Hallandale Beach) has introduced a
statewide Domestic Partnership bill (SB 1642). Equality Florida has
been working closely with Sen. Sobel in preparing this historic
legislation. The companion bill will be sponsored in the house by
Rep. Richard Steinberg (Miami Beach). As a Miami Beach City
Commissioner, Rep. Steinberg played a key role in passing Florida’s
strongest Domestic Partnership policy.

The introduction of these domestic partnership bills comes at a
time when public support is at an all time high for this
legislation. The latest polls show 77% of Floridians in favor of
extending benefits to unmarried couples.

It also comes as a South Florida hospital is embroiled in a
lawsuit for refusing to grant a woman access to her partner as she
lay dying at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The case has provoked
international outrage and highlights the vulnerability gay couples
face when there is no legal framework to protect their

If passed, this bill would ensure committed, unmarried couples
throughout Florida have access to basic legal rights like visiting
each other in the hospital.

Many places in Florida already understand the importance of
offering domestic partner protections. Miami Dade County enacted
domestic partner benefits in the past year, as did the cities of
Sarasota and Orlando.

Equality Florida is organizing a “Rally in Tally” for March 15.
This event is crucial to advancing equality in the state. If you
live in Florida, click here to find out more. Sign up and plan your
attendance today!