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WATCH LIVE: Minnesota House Debates Marriage Equality

By Sunnivie Brydum

The Minnesota House of Representatives began its work today by debating a bill that would legalize marriage equality.

The legislation, House File 1054, would provide for marriage between any two adults, but would not require religious institutions or individuals to perform or recognize same-sex marriages.

The House spent a good deal of time debating an amendment proposed by Republican representative Tim Kelly, which would create civil unions for same-sex couples rather than offer them equal marriage rights.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said that he would sign a marriage equality bill if it reached his desk. In November, Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state.

House speaker Paul Thissen, a Minneapolis member of the ruling Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, told Minnesota's Pioneer Press that he and other equality supporters in the House believe the 73-member DFL majority has the 68 votes needed to pass the marriage equality bill, even without a single Republican vote.

Watch the livestream below, in which supporters rallying outside the chamber can be heard chanting and singing as the representatives debate the freedom to marry.


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