All Rights reserved
A trio of bills extending marriage rights to same-sex couples were formally heard Monday by a Minnesota house of representatives committee.
One bill proposes the creation of civil union contracts for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, while another would recognize gay marriages from other states. A third bill calls for full marriage equality by "removing gender-based terminology in existing state statute,"Politics in Minnesota reported.
The latter bill, sponsored by Democratic state representative Phyllis Kahn, was introduced in the state legislature more than a year ago. "I just want to personally state that I think allowing other people to get married poses absolutely no threat to my marriage," Kahn told the house civil justice committee during Monday's hearing.
The fate of the bills under consideration is unclear. Republican governor Tim Pawlenty, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, has previously stated his opposition to marriage equality and support for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Minnesota is one several states that do not permit gay marriage yet do not have a constitutional ban on such unions.