The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs will hear the Domestic Partnership bill SB 196 Families First on March 12 at 2:00 PM.
The Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs considered SB 196 on February 19, 2013. However, a voice vote failed to pass the measure. To avert the deadly vote, Senator Sobel, Chair of this committee and sponsor of SB 196, asked the committee to temporarily postpone final action on the bill until she could rewrite it apparently to the liking of Republican Senator Nancy Detert.
Several pro-family leaders spoke during the February 19, 2013 committee meeting in opposition to the bill. Those speakers in opposition included John Stemberger President of Florida Family Action, Michael B. Sheedy, Director for Public Policy for the Florida Catholic Conference of Bishops and Bill Bunkley President of Florida Voices.
John Stemberger, Florida Family Action president, pointed out that the bill was unconstitutional because it violated the Florida Defense of Marriage Act. Stemberger told the committee that unlike the language used by cities and counties across Florida that adopted Domestic Partnership Registries, SB 196 was much broader. This broader language violated the “substantial equivalent to marriage” prohibition in the Florida Defense of Marriage Act.
Republican Senator Nancy Detert made it clear after hearing from the public that she could not support the bill as written but would support a Domestic Partnership bill if it were modeled similar to the one adopted by the City of Sarasota.
Senator Sobel rewrote the bill. Now Senator Sobel is looking to Senator Nancy Detert’s swing vote to pass this legislation through the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.
SB 196 named “Families First” would set up a Domestic Partnership registry in Florida. Here is the language of the bill:
“Families First; Setting forth fees and costs to be applied when petitioning for a dissolution of a domestic partnership or registering a domestic partnership, respectively; requiring that certain fees relating to declarations of domestic partnership and dissolution of domestic partnership filings be deposited in the Displaced Homemaker Trust Fund; requiring two individuals who wish to become partners in a domestic partnership to complete and file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form with the clerk of the circuit court; providing methods to prove the existence of a registered Declaration Domestic Partnership when the certificate document has been lost or is otherwise unavailable, etc.”
Every benefit of this legislation can be accomplished through private contract or authorization forms. In all cases Health Care Surrogate, Power of Attorney and other lawful designations of authority by one person to another must be performed on a separate private agreement form. This negates the need for this legislation.
Homosexual activists are essentially using the Families First ie Domestic Partnership bill SB 196 to legalize same sex marriage in Florida. SB 196 does nothing but add government bureaucracy while advancing legal recognition of same sex relationships. Heterosexual couples are not demanding this legislation. They can marry if they want their relationship legally recognized. SB 196 is being pushed by homosexual activists who demand that the State of Florida legally recognize same-sex relationships.
Florida Family Association is asking those interested to send an email to Florida Senate President Don Gaetz and members of the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.
Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs members:
|Chair: Eleanor Sobel (D)||(850) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Vice Chair: Alan Hays (R)||(850) email@example.com|
|Thad Altman (R)||(850) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Oscar Braynon, II (D)||(850) email@example.com|
|Jeff Clemens (D)||(850) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Charles S. Dean, Sr. (R)||(850) email@example.com|
|Nancy C. Detert (R)||(850) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R)||(850) 487-5040||portilla.miguel.web@flsenate.
|Denise Grimsley (R)||(850) 487-5021||grimsley.denise.web@flsenate.
|Geraldine F. Thompson (D)||(850) 487-5012||thompson.geraldine.web@
UPDATE 3/12/2013: Florida Senate committee delays vote on Domestic Partnerships due to a member’s absence.
The Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs was prepared to vote on SB 196 Domestic Partnerships during the 2:00 PM meeting on March 12, 2012. However, Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D) was absent from the committee meeting. Senator Eleanor Sobel, sponsor of the legislation, requested that the committee temporarily postpone the vote on SB 196 which they did.
The next committee date has not been posted on the Florida Senate web site.