Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Legislative proposal would give end-of-life rights to Minnesota same-sex couples

A proposed bill that would give committed same-sex couples some of the rights granted to married couples when it comes to final wishes and other end-of-life issues was discussed today at the Capitol.A “Final Wishes” bill will be introduced by Sen.

A proposed bill that would give committed same-sex couples some of the rights granted to married couples when it comes to final wishes and other end-of-life issues was discussed today at the Capitol.

A “Final Wishes” bill will be introduced by Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, and Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL, St. Paul. Supporters say it will ensure equal and fair treatment for all Minnesota families that are experiencing severe health issues and the death of a loved one.

The bill would give same-sex couples rights equal to married couples by allowing them to honor the final wishes of their partner, preserve their homes for their families and seek justice after a wrongful death.

Supporters say that under current law, committed same-sex partners do not have the automatic right that married couples have to control the remainsof their partner after death. This means surviving partners may not be able to carry out their loved one’s wishes for cremation or burial.
Costly legal documents may fail to guarantee this right and are sometimes ignored. The legislative proposal will change the law’s language to include same-sex partners, eliminating the need for costly and ineffective legal documents to ensure the right to honor a partner’s final wishes.

“This proposed legislation focuses on real issues that affect Minnesota families every day. Particularly at a time when all families are struggling, our laws should not unduly add stress, financial hardship or even homelessness to the problems families face,” Murphy said.

The effort is supported by Project 515, a Minnesota nonprofit organization working to ensure that same-sex couples and their families have equal rights and considerations under Minnesota law. There are at least 515 current state laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and their families. More information is here.