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Panel approves domestic registry bill

April 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 2 (UPI) -- A Florida state Senate committee has approved a bill that would create a statewide domestic partnership registry, officials said.

The victory is seen as largely symbolic in the Republican-dominated Legislature of a state where gay marriage is constitutionally prohibited, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Monday.

The bill was approved 5-4 after Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, joined with Democrats to approve creation of the registry.

The bill has little chance of actually becoming law. Republicans in the House nor Senate have shown little interest in the legislation. It came up in the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee because the bill's sponsor, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, chairs the committee.

The bill must pass through four more Republican-controlled committees before coming to the full Senate for consideration. The House version of the bill has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Conservatives oppose the bill because they say it is the first step to gay marriage.

Supporters were undaunted by the probable fate of the bill, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting said, with Mallory Wells, a lobbyist for Equality Florida, calling the committee vote "a historic day."

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