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Published March 12, 2013, 03:12 PM

Minnesota committees to vote on gay marriage bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Senate committee has approved a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Senate committee has approved a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

The bill was endorsed Tuesday on a 5 to 3 party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans opposed. It now heads to the floor, where a final vote is not expected until much later in session.

It was the first time a state legislative committee has backed marriage rights for gay couples. A state House panel was expected to take its own vote later Tuesday evening.

The Democratic-led Legislature is pressing ahead with the marriage bill after voters defeated a constitutional amendment last November that would have fortified an existing ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. Mark Dayton says he will sign it if it reaches him.

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