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Fla. Domestic-Partnership Bill Passes First Committee

A bill that would allow domestic partnerships in Florida made it past its first Senate committee on Monday. The Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs passed the bill by a five-to-four margin with bipartisan support.

Bill sponsor Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) thanked supporters after the vote.

“We have made history in the Florida Senate," she said. "Thank you to everybody. And we look forward to making this a reality, eventually, in the state of Florida because it’s really about fundamental fairness.”

The bill is similar to domestic partner laws already in place in many Florida cities. It would grant domestic partners of any gender a handful of rights, including hospital visitation and planning funerals.

The bill is scheduled for four more Senate committee stops. And the House version is not yet on a committee calendar.