US: Florida Senate to consider gay ‘domestic partnership’ bill

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A bill which would allow gay couples to enter into “domestic partnerships,” with a view to extending some marital rights to same-sex couples, was filed in the Florida Senate on Wednesday.

Senator Eleanor Sobel filed the bill which, although it states it is not an attempt to bypass the constitutional amendment in Florida defining marriage as between one man and one woman, it would allow gay Floridians some rights towards marriage.

Any two people over the age of 18 would be allowed to enter into a “domestic partnership” under the law, reports

“The state has a strong interest in promoting stable and lasting families, and believes that all families should be provided with the opportunity to obtain necessary legal protections and status and the ability to achieve their fullest potential,” the bill says in a section of legislative findings.

President of the Florida Family Policy Council, a group opposed to marriage equality, said such “domestic partnership” proposals were inherently aimed at avoiding the state’s definition of marriage. He said:

“They’re attempts to get around [the Constitution] and approximate a faux marriage arrangement.”

Last week in Florida, The Bank of America agreed to pay out a lump sum of $7,500 (£4,700) to a lesbian couple denied a mortgage based on their sexuality.