Legislator pushes for Florida to recognize domestic partnerships

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Palm Beach Post

Legislator pushes for Florida to recognize domestic partnerships

By Anthony Man January 26, 2011 10:50 AM

State Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, has filed legislation to provide domestic partnership protections to committed couples throughout Florida.

From Pafford's statement:

Florida is the eighth most populous state in the nation with individuals living in communities that recognize domestic partnerships, either through registries or public employer’s benefits. An estimated 5.5 million Floridians are living in domestic partnerships. House Bill 337 would make partnership benefits available to all domestic partners statewide.

More than half of all Fortune 500 companies and a majority of Florida’s universities offer domestic partner benefits in order to attract and retain the best and brightest employees.

"At a time when many Florida families are facing difficult financial challenges, this bill will provide valuable protections, as well as responsibilities, to unmarried couples and will help more Floridians to take care of their loved ones," said Representative Pafford. "House Bill 337 recognizes the intrinsic value of all families, and the importance that they be recognized and protected by law.”

The Domestic Partnerships Act would grant individuals in a domestic partnership the same benefits and responsibilities currently available through marriage.

Allan Hendricks, Palm Beach County organizer of the gay rights group Equality Florida, said his organization would push for passage of the legislation.

A Senate version of the measure is sponsored by state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.


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