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Published April 03, 2013, 10:56 AM

Minnesota lawmaker introducing bill to establish civil unions

Republican Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing plans to unveil his proposal at a Wednesday press conference at the Capitol. He says the bill has support from lawmakers in both parties.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker is introducing a bill to establish civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to legalizing same-sex marriage.

Republican Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing plans to unveil his proposal at a Wednesday press conference at the Capitol. He says the bill has support from lawmakers in both parties.

Kelly was one of four Republicans who voted against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage when the Legislature put it on the ballot in 2011. But Kelly has said gay marriage supporters overreached when they turned from defeating that amendment to pushing for legal gay marriage.

The group pushing the bill to legalize gay marriage had no immediate comment. Many gay marriage backers view civil unions as insufficient compared to full marriage rights for gay couples.

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