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Associated Press, Published March 13 2013

Gay marriage bill survives move to block

ST. PAUL – A proposal to allow gay weddings in Minnesota survived several moves by Senate Republicans on Wednesday to block it, an early signal the measure likely has enough votes to pass on the floor.

Both on the Senate floor and in a Rules Committee meeting, Democrats who control the chamber defeated a series of Republican motions to postpone its progress. Republicans said they were simply seeking more information about whether it would cost tax money to allow gay couples to marry – in court costs, state employee benefits and other areas.

While the votes were procedural, Republicans portrayed a final floor vote as a functional vote on gay marriage. That motion, which adds the bill to a long list of bills awaiting action on the Senate floor, passed 35-31. One Republican senator joined all but four of the chamber’s Democrats to keep the bill moving.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign a gay marriage bill if the House and Senate pass it. Gay weddings would be allowed starting Aug. 1 under the current proposal.

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