Looks like Minnesota is starting to warm up to the gays. On Tuesday, the Minnesota house pushed through a measure to allow gay and lesbian couples the right to control the remains of a loved one. If the measure is approved, it would be the first time in Minnesota history that the state has recognized gay and lesbian couples as domestic partners. Not to mention the fact that it is completely dehumanizing to be stripped of the right to make decisions about a deceased partner simply on the basis that you don’t have a marriage certificate.
House members approved the measure on a 78-to-55 vote.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Eric Murphy, a Saint Paul Democrat, allows a surviving domestic partner to decide what to do with the remains of a loved one. Currently, only married spouses can make such decisions under Minnesota law. The measure also allows a partner the right to sue to recover funeral and hospital costs in the event of a wrongful death.
“This legislation eliminates two of 515 Minnesota laws that discriminate against committed couples,” Murphy told Minnesota Public Radio.
“I think it’s important because we should never tolerate discrimination in Minnesota,” she added.
I can only imagine what it would feel like to be told that I couldn’t have a say in what happened to my deceased partner; I imagine that It would feel incredibly demoralizing.
Update: Looks like Gov. Pawlenty plans to veto any legislation that would issue end-of-life grants to same-sex couples.
Andrew (AJ) is a vehement progressive, youth activist, and reproductive justice organizer. When he's not busy with the movement, you can usually find him dancing in the club or watching trashy reality tv.