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COPY-Gay marriage bill clears Minn. House committee

By PATRICK CONDON
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A state House committee has approved a bill legalizing gay marriage in what could be a pivotal week for the issue at Minnesota's Capitol.

The Ways and Means committee backed the bill Monday on an unrecorded voice vote. The hearing on the bill featured no debate on 1 of the session's major issues. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to review the bill Tuesday morning.

A fiscal analysis predicted relatively small costs to the state in providing health insurance to gay spouses of state employees, and revenue from an expected spike in marriage licenses.

Earlier Monday, dozens of opponents of the measure demonstrated at the Capitol hoping to slow the bill's progress.

The full House or Senate could vote on the bill this week.

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