Pawlenty says he’ll veto same-sex couples bill

Gov. Pawlenty says he plans to veto legislation that would grant end-of-life rights to same-sex partners.

The bill passed in the Minnesota Senate today (Wednesday) and in the House yesterday. It allows surviving same-sex partners and other unmarried couples to have control over the remains of their deceased partners. But Pawlenty says current law already allows for such designation. The Republican governor claims the bill’s supporters are trying to stoke political controversy.

“I think the effort that’s underway in this bill is simply a political game to get the concept or the wording domestic partner into state law,” Pawlenty said. “And I would suggest the Legislature focus on addressing our budget issues rather than trying to tee up divisive social issues.”

The sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, said the measure is a matter of fairness. She urged the governor to reconsider his opposition.