A bill that would legalize domestic partnerships in Florida is having a hearing on Tuesday after being drastically reworked following debate last month. The bill would grant domestic partners a small fraction of the rights given to married couples.
In 2007, Janice Langbehn flew from Washington state to Miami with her partner, Lisa, and three of their children. The family was going on a cruise to celebrate the couple’s 18-year anniversary. But shortly after boarding the ship, 39-year-old Lisa suddenly collapsed.
It’s been five years since Floridians voted to define marriage as one man and one woman in the state constitution. But this year, bills that would ban discriminating against gay people and allow them to enter into domestic partnerships are getting bipartisan support in the Legislature. Supporters of the bills say the Legislature seems to be changing its attitude toward equality.
Tuesday will be the first time a Florida legislative committee will consider allowing domestic partnerships for all couples, gay or straight.