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Ends Discrimination against Same-Sex couples on end of life issues
Saint Paul, Minnesota – The Minnesota House passed legislation today on a vote of 78 to 55 to allow same-sex couples an equal opportunity to honor the final wishes of their partners and seek justice following a wrongful death. State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul), the chief author, said the bill is a step toward ending discrimination in state laws and step toward equality for all Minnesotans.
“This is an issue of fairness, compassion and dignity," said Murphy. “Many of us have lost loved ones in our lives and have had the ability to carry out their final wishes. Under current law, married spouses have these rights, committed same-sex partners do not.”
The legislation, which has also passed in the Senate, will also allow same-sex partners to recover funeral and hospital costs when a partner is killed wrongfully, such as by a drunken driver.
“The loss of a partner is painful and agonizing regardless of our sexual orientation,” said Murphy. “For us to deny equal treatment based on sexual preference is not in line with Minnesota values of fairness and decency.”
Murphy said the bill is a positive step forward, but that more work is needed to end discriminatory laws in Minnesota.
“Most Minnesotans agree that discrimination should not be practiced by our state government, but there are 515 separate laws on our books that discriminate against Minnesotans based on their sexual orientation,” said Murphy. “We are trying to end two of those laws, but we need to do more to match Minnesota laws with Minnesota values.”
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