Minnesota House passes bill that grants same-sex couples the right to make end-of-life decisions

A bill granting protections to same-sex couples regarding end-of-life decisions passed the Minnesota state House on Tuesday and is headed to Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk for approval.

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Op-Ed: Yes, protect marriage. Let same-sex couples wed.

Dale Carpenter criticizes anti-gay comments by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and advocates for marriage equality in Minnesota: "The welfare of gay persons and their children is a material and moral concern for every humane and civilized citizen."

The archbishop's fears about damage to families and children are misdirected.

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Minnesota Lawmakers Debate Freedom to Marry

On Monday, three pro-gay bills introduced last March were aired out in a Minnesota House committee. One measure, sponsored by Representative Joe Mullery, DFL- Minneapolis, would recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. And Golden Valley Representative Ryan Winkler's bill seeks to recognize legal marriages performed outside the state. A third bill proposes legalizing the freedom to marry.

“Legislators have seen that there is strong support for extending legal recognition to same-sex couples and their families by ending discrimination in marriage,” Amy Johnson, executive director of gay rights group OutFront Minnesota, said in a statement. “Minnesotans know that marriage equality next door in Canada and now Iowa is not a threat to them or their families. A majority of Minnesotans (61%) support giving gay couples “the same legal and economic rights and responsibilities as married couples,” according to a 2009 state fair opinion poll.

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Editorial: Economic Reasons for the Freedom to Marry

A committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives will hold a hearing Monday on three separate visions for extending greater rights to gay and lesbian couples. It marks the first time a legislative body in Minnesota has taken such an affirmative look; past discussion has sought only to constitutionally prohibit marriage equality.

Five states currently extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians, and they’re better off for it. Many Minnesotans, for example, are making the short journey south to wed in Iowa. A UCLA study last year estimated that Iowa’s state budget is getting a $5.4 million annual bump from marriage equality-derived tax receipts. This number doesn’t include the indirect boost to local businesses across the state.

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‘Historic’ hearing on the Freedom to Marry in Minnesota

The House Civil Justice Committee will be the first in Minnesota’s history to conduct a hearing on the possibility of legalizing the freedom to marry in the state. Three bills will be up for discussion on Monday, and all three are supportive of expanded relationship rights for Minnesota’s same-sex couples.

The Marriage and Family Protection Act would make marriages in Minnesota gender neutral. A civil unions bill is also being proposed and another bill would honor marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states where it is legal, such as neighboring Iowa.

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Religious leaders rally for freedom to marry at Minnesota capitol

Clergy of various faiths and community members gathered at the state capitol Thursday in an effort to push for marriage equality. OutFront Minnesota organized the event called "I Do Support Love Freedom to Marry Day Rally."

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Minnesota Freedom to Marry Week Event

OutFront Minnesota
I Do Support Love - Freedom to Marry Day Rally
Thursday, February 11th, 8:30-9:30am - Capitol Rotunda.

Make your sign and head over to the capitol to show your support for enacting freedom to marry legislation in Minnesota. Clergy and faith leaders will lead us in an inspiring rally for justice. [Link]

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How Supportive Are Minnesotans of Marriage Equality?

Smart Politics
October 11, 2009
There has been some movement in public opinion regarding the freedom to marry in Minnesota as the issue has percolated on the national scene and across states during the past decade. In January 2004, for example, just 27 percent of Gopher State residents supported the legalization of marriage equality, according to a Pioneer Press / MPR poll, while in January 2008, the numbers had tightened to 41 percent in favor and 53 percent opposed. [Link]

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Minnesota Clergy Gather to Support Freedom to Marry

KARE 11
October 8, 2009
OutFront Minnesota, the state's leading gay activist organization, hosted dozens of clergy who support marriage equality for gay couples to talk about why. [link]

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Minneapolis to host Lutheran debate on gay clergy and marriage equality

The Minnesota Independent
July 6, 2009
After years of study and debate, thousands of leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will gather in Minneapolis this August for a vote on whether to become more welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Lutherans. LGBT Lutherans are anxiously awaiting the outcome, which could pave the way for gay and lesbian pastors, bring same-sex commitment ceremonies to local congregations and impact policy in a state with a large number of Lutheran elected officials. [Link]

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