Gov. Pawlenty says he plans to veto legislation that would grant end-of-life rights to same-sex partners.
The Minnesota Senate passed the bill Wednesday after the House passed it Tuesday. It would allow surviving same-sex partners and other unmarried couples to have control over the remains of their deceased partners.
Under current state law, only married spouses and immediate family members can decide.
The legislation would also allow same-sex partners to recover funeral and hospital costs in wrongful death cases.
But Pawlenty says current law already allows for such designation. The Republican governor says the bill's supporters are trying to stoke political controversy.
"I think the effort that's underway in this bill is simply a political game to get the concept or the wording 'domestic partner' into state law," Pawlenty said. "And I would suggest the Legislature focus on addressing our budget issues rather than trying to tee up divisive social issues."
The sponsor of the Senate bill, Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, said the measure is a matter of fairness. She urged the governor to reconsider his opposition.