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Published April 04, 2013, 10:21 PM

Civil union bill introduced in MN

A bill introduced this week in the Minnesota legislature would allow same sex couples to join in civil unions. The Republican-backed measure is making waves on all sides.

A bill introduced this week in the Minnesota legislature would allow same sex couples to join in civil unions. The Republican-backed measure is making waves on all sides.

Supporters say the majority of Minnesotans agree that gay couples should be allowed to enter into civil unions, but not marriage. Opponents say civil unions are not equal to marriage.

Republican Rep Tim Kelly says the civil unions measure seeks to end the gay rights issue once and for all.

Kelly: "This bill will give all the benefits and limitations of marriage to same sex couples and i'm looking forward to doing that."

But opponents refuse to settle. The group pushing for gay marriage rights, Minnesotans United, issued a statement saying "It is contradictory to our values as Minnesotans to deem some Minnesotans worthy of marriage while others are only good enough for "civil unions." But Kelly argues the bill is fair.

Kelly: "What the bill does is anywhere there is marriage we insert civil union, so to suggest it doesn't give them the same rights is completely false."

Supporters of traditional marriage are debating whether they will back this latest effort to please both sides. Kelly hopes to move the bill along quickly to get on with other matters.

Kelly: "Come along, lets unite minnesota, lets move forward and lets talk about the economy and jobs and everything we're supposed to be doing up here."

Depending on this bill's outcome, sponsors say they might add civil unions as an amendment to the gay marriage bill.

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