Same-sex marriage issue resurfaces at Capitol

There won’t be a vote taken, but today a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages in other states gets a hearing at the Capitol in St. Paul.

The bill, from Rep. Ryan Winkler, would strike this provision in current state law on prohibited marriages:

A marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, either under common law or statute, that is recognized by another state or foreign jurisdiction is void in this state and contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage or its termination are unenforceable in this state.

It’s been a few years since same-sex marriage was a significant issue in Minnesota. The idea of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage surfaced in the 2006 gubernatorial race. Opponents of the amendment said it was unnecessary because current state law already bans same-sex marriage.

Since then, of course, Iowa and several New England states have approved same-sex marriage.

The House Civil Justice Committee meets at 4:30 to consider changing the law.

Meanwhile, two bills aimed at expanding rights for domestic partners were filed today. One would allow workers’ compensation benefits for domestic partners.Another would give probate rights to domestic partners.

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