A bill which would recognize the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships was introduced Wednesday in the Florida Senate.

State Senator Eleanor Sobel's Families First bill (SB 196) seeks to allow gay Floridians some rights usually reserved for married couples.

“The state has a strong interest in promoting stable and lasting families, and believes that all families should be provided with the opportunity to obtain necessary legal protections and status and the ability to achieve their fullest potential,” the bill reads in part.

John Stemburger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, a group opposed to gay rights, said the bill wouldn't go far in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“I think they're lucky if they get it debated,” Stemburger told News Service of Florida.

He described the proposal as a attempt to circumvent Florida's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Sobel, a Democrat from Hollywood, has previously introduced similar measures. Three major Florida cities, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, along with several counties, currently recognize gay couples with domestic partnerships.

According to a recent poll by The Washington Post, a majority of Florida voters (54%) support gay nuptials, while 33 percent remain opposed. Other polls, however, have pegged support at less than 50 percent.