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Republican Lawmaker Introduces Civil Union Bill

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ST. PAUL (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.

Sen. Scott Dibble, chief author of the gay marriage bill, says civil unions are insufficient. He calls them “separate but unequal” and says they would just create new legal dilemmas for gay couples.

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