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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1805

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 04/25/2013 10:18am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to civil law; providing for civil union relationships; substituting
civil union contracts for marriage for purposes of Minnesota law;amending
Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 363A.27; 517.01; 517.02; 517.03; 517.07;
517.08; 517.10; 517.101; 517.20; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 517; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 517.04;
517.041; 517.05; 517.06; 517.09; 517.13; 517.14; 517.15; 517.16; 517.18.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 363A.27, is amended to read:


363A.27 CONSTRUCTION OF LAW.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:

(1) mean the state of Minnesota condones homosexuality or bisexuality or any
equivalent lifestyle;

(2) authorize or permit the promotion of homosexuality or bisexuality in education
institutions or require the teaching in education institutions of homosexuality or
bisexuality as an acceptable lifestyle;new text begin or
new text end

(3) authorize or permit the use of numerical goals or quotas, or other types
of affirmative action programs, with respect to homosexuality or bisexuality in the
administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapterdeleted text begin; ordeleted text endnew text begin.
new text end

deleted text begin (4) authorize the recognition of or the right of marriage between persons of the
same sex.
deleted text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.01, is amended to read:


517.01 deleted text beginMARRIAGE Adeleted text end CIVILnew text begin UNIONnew text end CONTRACT.

deleted text begin Marriagedeleted text endnew text begin A civil unionnew text end, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract
between deleted text begina man and a womandeleted text endnew text begin two individuals, recognized by the state of Minnesotanew text end, to
which the consent of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end, capable in law of contracting, is essential.
deleted text beginLawful marriage may be contracted only between persons of the opposite sex and onlydeleted text end new text beginA
civil union contract is only valid
new text endwhen a license has been obtained as provided by law and
when the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end is contracted in the presence of two witnesses deleted text beginand solemnized
by one authorized, or whom one or both of the parties in good faith believe to be authorized,
so to do. Marriages subsequent to April 26, 1941, not so contracted shall be null and void
deleted text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.02, is amended to read:


517.02 PERSONS CAPABLE OF CONTRACTING.

Every person who has attained the full age of 18 years is capable in law of contracting
deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin a civil unionnew text end, if otherwise competent. A person of the full age of 16 years may,
with the consent of the person's legal custodial parents, guardian, or the court, as provided
in section 517.08, receive a new text begincivil union new text endlicense deleted text beginto marrydeleted text end, when, after a careful inquiry into
the facts and the surrounding circumstances, the person's application for a license and
consent for deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin a civil unionnew text end of a minor form is approved by the judge of the district
court of the county in which the person resides. If the judge of the district court of the
county in which the person resides is absent from the county and has not by order assigned
another judge or a retired judge to act in the judge's stead, then the court commissioner or
any judge of district court of the county may approve the application for a license.

The consent for deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil union licensenew text end of a minor must be in the following form:

STATE OF MINNESOTA, COUNTY OF .................... (insert county name)

I/We ........................... (insert legal custodial parent or guardian names) under oath
or affirmation say:

That I/we are the legal custodial parent(s) or guardian of ...........................
(insert name of minor), who was born at ........................... (insert place of birth) on
........................... (insert date of birth) who is presently the age of ....... (insert age).

That the minor has not deleted text beginbeendeleted text end previously deleted text beginmarrieddeleted text endnew text begin entered a civil unionnew text end.

That I/we consent to the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end of this minor to ...........................
(insert name of the person minor intends to deleted text beginmarrydeleted text endnew text begin join in civil unionnew text end) who is of the age
of ....... (insert age).

That affidavit is being made for the purpose of requesting the judge's consent to
allow this minor to deleted text beginmarrydeleted text endnew text begin enter a civil unionnew text end and make this deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end legal.

Date: .............................

.....................................................................................................

.....................................................................................................

(Signature of legal custodial parents or guardian)

Sworn to or affirmed and acknowledged before me on this ....... day of .................... .

..........................................

NOTARY PUBLIC

STATE OF MINNESOTA, COUNTY OF .................... (insert county name).

The undersigned is the judge of the district court where the minor resides and grants
the request for the minor to deleted text beginmarrydeleted text endnew text begin enter into a civil union contractnew text end.

................................ (judge of district court)

................................ (date).

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.03, is amended to read:


517.03 PROHIBITED MARRIAGESnew text begin AND CIVIL UNION CONTRACTSnew text end.

Subdivision 1.

General.

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end The following marriages new text beginand civil union contracts
new text endare prohibited:

(1) a marriage new text beginor civil union new text endentered into before the dissolution of an earlier marriage
new text beginor civil union contract new text endof one of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end becomes final, as provided in
section 518.145 or by the law of the jurisdiction where the dissolution was granted;

(2) a marriage new text beginor civil union new text endbetween an ancestor and a descendant, or between
a brother and a sister, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by
adoption;new text begin and
new text end

(3) a marriage new text beginor civil union new text endbetween an uncle and a niece, between an aunt and a
nephew, or between first cousins, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood,
except as to marriages permitted by the established customs of aboriginal culturesdeleted text begin; anddeleted text endnew text begin.
new text end

deleted text begin (4) a marriage between persons of the same sex.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (b) A marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, either under common law or
statute, that is recognized by another state or foreign jurisdiction is void in this state and
contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage or its termination are unenforceable in
this state.
deleted text end

Subd. 2.

Developmentally disabled persons; consent by commissioner of
human services.

Developmentally disabled persons committed to the guardianship of
the commissioner of human services and developmentally disabled persons committed
to the conservatorship of the commissioner of human services in which the terms of the
conservatorship limit the right to deleted text beginmarrydeleted text endnew text begin enter a civil unionnew text end, may deleted text beginmarrydeleted text endnew text begin enter a civil union
new text end on receipt of written consent of the commissioner. The commissioner shall grant consent
unless it appears from the commissioner's investigation that the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil union new text end is
not in the best interest of the ward or conservatee and the public. The local registrar in
the county where the application for a license is made by the ward or conservatee shall
not issue the license unless the local registrar has received a signed copy of the consent
of the commissioner of human services.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.07, is amended to read:


517.07 LICENSE.

Before any persons are joined in deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin a civil union new text end in Minnesota, a license shall
be obtained from the local registrar of any county within Minnesota. The deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil
union
new text end need not deleted text begintake placedeleted text endnew text begin be formally enterednew text end in the county where the license is obtained
but must take place within the geographical borders of Minnesota.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.08, is amended to read:


517.08 APPLICATION FOR LICENSE.

Subd. 1a.

Form.

Application for a deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end license shall be made by
both of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endupon a form provided for the purpose and shall contain
the following information:

(1) the full deleted text beginnamesdeleted text endnew text begin namenew text end of deleted text beginthe parties and the sex of each partydeleted text endnew text begin each individualnew text end;

(2) their post office addresses and county and state of residence;

(3) their full ages;

(4) if either deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endhas previously been married, the deleted text beginparty'sdeleted text endnew text begin individual's
new text end married name, and the date, place and court in which the marriage was dissolved or
annulled or the date and place of death of the former spouse;

(5) new text beginif either individual has previously been a party to a civil union, the date of the
civil union, and the place and court in which the civil union was dissolved;
new text end

new text begin (6) new text endif either deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endis a minor, the name and address of the minor's parents
or guardian;

deleted text begin (6)deleted text endnew text begin (7)new text end whether the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endare related to each other, and, if so, their
relationship;

deleted text begin (7)deleted text endnew text begin (8) thenew text end address of the deleted text beginbride and groomdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end after the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil
union is entered
new text end to which the local registrar shall send a certified copy of the deleted text beginmarriage
certificate
deleted text endnew text begin civil union contractnew text end;

deleted text begin (8)deleted text endnew text begin (9)new text end the full deleted text beginnames the partiesdeleted text end new text beginname each individual new text endwill have after deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin the
civil union contract is entered
new text end and deleted text beginthe parties'deleted text end new text begineach individual's new text endSocial Security deleted text beginnumbers
deleted text endnew text begin numbernew text end. The Social Security numbers must be collected for the application but must not
appear on the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end license. If deleted text begina partydeleted text endnew text begin an individualnew text end listed on a deleted text beginmarriage application
deleted text endnew text begin civil union applicationnew text end does not have a Social Security number, the deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endmust
certify on the application, or a supplement to the application, that the deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual
new text enddoes not have a Social Security number;

deleted text begin (9)deleted text endnew text begin (10)new text end if one or both of the deleted text beginparties to the marriage licensedeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endhas a felony
conviction under Minnesota law or the law of another state or federal jurisdiction, the
deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end shall provide to the county proof of service upon the prosecuting
authority and, if applicable, the attorney general, as required by section 259.13; and

deleted text begin (10)deleted text endnew text begin (11)new text end notice that deleted text begina partydeleted text end new text beginan individual new text endwho has a felony conviction under
Minnesota law or the law of another state or federal jurisdiction may not use a different
name after deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin the civil union is enterednew text end except as authorized by section 259.13,
and that doing so is a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 1b.

Term of license; feedeleted text begin; premarital educationdeleted text end.

(a) The local registrar
shall examine upon oath the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endapplying for a license relative to the
legality of the contemplated deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end. If one deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endis unable to
appear in person, the deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endappearing may complete the absent applicant's
information. The local registrar shall provide a copy of the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end application to the
deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endwho is unable to appear, who must verify the accuracy of the appearing
deleted text beginparty'sdeleted text end new text beginindividual's new text endinformation in a notarized statement. The deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end license must not
be released until the verification statement has been received by the local registrar. If at
the expiration of a five-day period, on being satisfied that there is no legal impediment to
it, including the restriction contained in section 259.13, the local registrar shall issue the
license, containing the full names of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endbefore and after deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin the
civil union is entered
new text end, and county and state of residence, with the county seal attached,
and make a record of the date of issuance. The license shall be valid for a period of six
months. Except as provided in paragraph (c), the local registrar shall collect from the
applicant a fee of $115 for administering the oath, issuing, recording, and filing all papers
required, and preparing and transmitting to the state registrar of vital statistics the reports
of deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin a civil unionnew text end required by this section. If the license should not be used within
the period of six months due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, it may be
surrendered to the local registrar for cancellation, and in that case a new license shall issue
upon request of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endof the original license without fee. A local registrar
who knowingly issues or signs a deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end license in any manner other than as provided in
this section shall pay to the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endaggrieved an amount not to exceed $1,000.

(b) In case of emergency or extraordinary circumstances, a judge of the district court
of the county in which the application is made may authorize the license to be issued at
any time before expiration of the five-day period required under paragraph (a). A waiver
of the five-day waiting period must be in the following form:

STATE OF MINNESOTA, COUNTY OF .................... (insert county name)

APPLICATION FOR WAIVER OF deleted text beginMARRIAGEdeleted text endnew text begin CIVIL UNIONnew text end LICENSE
WAITING PERIOD:

................................................................................. (legal names of the applicants)

Represent and state as follows:

That on ......................... (date of application) the applicants applied to the local
registrar of the above-named county for a license deleted text beginto marrydeleted text endnew text begin for a civil unionnew text end.

That it is necessary that the license be issued before the expiration of five days
from the date of the application by reason of the following: (insert reason for requesting
waiver of waiting period)

.............................................................................................................

.............................................................................................................

.............................................................................................................

WHEREAS, the applicants request that the judge waive the required five-day
waiting period and the local registrar be authorized and directed to deleted text beginissue the marriage
deleted text endnew text begin grant the civil unionnew text end license immediately.

Date: .............................

.......................................................................................

.......................................................................................

(Signatures of applicants)

Acknowledged before me on this ....... day of .................... .

..........................................

NOTARY PUBLIC

COURT ORDER AND AUTHORIZATION:

STATE OF MINNESOTA, COUNTY OF .................... (insert county name)

After reviewing the above application, I am satisfied that an emergency or
extraordinary circumstance exists that justifies the issuance of the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil union
new text end license before the expiration of five days from the date of the application. IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED that the local registrar is authorized and directed to issue the license forthwith.

.....................................................

................................ (judge of district court)

................................ (date).

deleted text begin (c) The marriage license fee for parties who have completed at least 12 hours of
premarital education is $40. In order to qualify for the reduced license fee, the parties must
submit at the time of applying for the marriage license a statement that is signed, dated,
and notarized or marked with a church seal from the person who provided the premarital
education on their letterhead confirming that it was received. The premarital education
must be provided by a licensed or ordained minister or the minister's designee, a person
authorized to solemnize marriages under section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice
marriage and family therapy under section 148B.33. The education
deleted text end deleted text begin must include the use of
a premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (d) The statement from the person who provided the premarital education under
paragraph (c) must be in the following form:
deleted text end

deleted text begin "I, .......................... (name of educator), confirm that .......................... (names of
both parties) received at least 12 hours of premarital education that included the use of a
premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills.
I am a licensed or ordained minister, a person authorized to solemnize marriages under
Minnesota Statutes, section 517.18, or a person licensed to practice marriage and family
therapy under Minnesota Statutes, section 148B.33."
deleted text end

deleted text begin The names of the parties in the educator's statement must be identical to the legal
names of the parties as they appear in the marriage license application. Notwithstanding
section 138.17, the educator's statement must be retained for seven years, after which
time it may be destroyed.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end If section 259.13 applies to the request for a deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end license, the
local registrar shall grant the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end license without the requested name
change. Alternatively, the local registrar may delay the granting of the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil
union
new text end license until the deleted text beginpartydeleted text end new text beginindividual new text endwith the conviction:

(1) certifies under oath that 30 days have passed since service of the notice for a
name change upon the prosecuting authority and, if applicable, the attorney general and no
objection has been filed under section 259.13; or

(2) provides a certified copy of the court order granting it. The deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals
new text endseeking the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end license shall have the right to choose to have the license granted
without the name change or to delay its granting pending further action on the name
change request.

Subd. 1c.

Disposition of license fee.

(a) Of the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil union contract
new text end license fee collected pursuant to subdivision 1b, paragraph (a), $25 must be retained by
the county. The local registrar must pay $90 to the commissioner of management and
budget to be deposited as follows:

(1) $55 in the general fund;

(2) $3 in the state government special revenue fund to be appropriated to the
commissioner of public safety for parenting time centers under section 119A.37;

(3) $2 in the special revenue fund to be appropriated to the commissioner of health
for developing and implementing the MN ENABL program under section 145.9255;

(4) $25 in the special revenue fund is appropriated to the commissioner of
employment and economic development for the displaced homemaker program under
section 116L.96; and

(5) $5 in the special revenue fund, which is appropriated to the Board of Regents
of the University of Minnesota for the Minnesota couples on the brink project under
section 137.32.

(b) Of the $40 fee under subdivision 1b, paragraph (b), $25 must be retained by the
county. The local registrar must pay $15 to the commissioner of management and budget
to be deposited as follows:

(1) $5 as provided in paragraph (a), clauses (2) and (3); and

(2) $10 in the special revenue fund is appropriated to the commissioner of
employment and economic development for the displaced homemaker program under
section 116L.96.

Subd. 4.

Report.

The local registrar of each county shall annually report to the
Department of Health the number of deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text end licenses issued in the county for which
the fee in subdivision 1b, paragraph (a), was paid and the number for which the fee in
subdivision 1b, paragraph (b), was paid.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.10, is amended to read:


517.10 CERTIFICATE; WITNESSES.

The deleted text beginperson solemnizing a marriagedeleted text endnew text begin local registrar of each countynew text end shall prepare and
sign a certificate. The certificate shall contain the full names of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals
new text endbefore and after deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin the civil union contractnew text end, the birth dates of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end,
and county and state of residences of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text end new text beginindividuals new text endand the date and place of the
deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end. The certificate shall also contain the signatures of at least two of the
witnesses present at the deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin time the civil union contract was signed,new text end who shall be at
least 16 years of age. The deleted text beginperson solemnizing the marriagedeleted text endnew text begin registrarnew text end shall immediately
make a record of such deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil union contractnew text end, and file such certificate deleted text beginwith the
local registrar of the county in which the license was issued
deleted text end within five days after the
deleted text beginceremonydeleted text endnew text begin civil union contract was signednew text end. The local registrar shall record such certificate
in the county deleted text beginmarriagedeleted text endnew text begin civil unionnew text end records.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.101, is amended to read:


517.101 CERTIFIED COPIES OF deleted text beginMARRIAGEdeleted text end CERTIFICATE.

Within ten days of receipt of the certificate and after recording the certificate the
local registrar shall prepare a certified copy of the certificate to be mailed to the deleted text beginmarried
parties
deleted text endnew text begin individuals subject to the civil union contractnew text end.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 517.20, is amended to read:


517.20 APPLICATION.

deleted text begin Except as provided in section 517.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (b),deleted text endnew text begin (a)new text end All marriages
new text beginand civil unions new text endcontracted within this state deleted text beginprior to March 1, 1979deleted text end or outside this state
that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by the laws of the
place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the deleted text beginpartiesdeleted text endnew text begin individualsnew text end are
valid in this state.

new text begin (b) Marriages that are valid under paragraph (a) are treated as civil union contracts
under this chapter and the laws of the state of Minnesota.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [517.22] MARRIAGE BY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION NOT
PROHIBITED.
new text end

new text begin (a) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a religious institution or cultural group from
performing a ceremony of marriage according to any applicable rules or customs of the
institution or group. A licensed or ordained minister may be a witness to the signing of a
civil union contract as required by section 517.10.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding a marriage ceremony performed by a religious institution or
cultural group, the individuals participating in that ceremony are not entitled to the rights,
benefits, or privileges of Minnesota law resulting from a civil union contract until such
civil union contract is lawfully signed and entered as provided in this chapter.
new text end

new text begin (c) This chapter does not alter or affect the protections or exemptions provided in
chapter 363A for a religious association, educational institution, business, labor union,
place of public accommodation, employer, or other person. This chapter does not affect
the exemptions provided in section 363A.26.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [517.23] MEANING OF CIVIL UNION CONTRACT.
new text end

new text begin Wherever the term "marriage," "marital," "marry," or "married" is used in Minnesota
statute in reference to the rights, obligations, or privileges of a couple under law, the term
shall include a civil union contract, or individuals subject to a civil union contract, as
established by this chapter. A term subject to this definition must also be interpreted in
reference to the context in which it appears, but may not be interpreted to limit or exclude
any individual who has entered a valid civil union contract under this chapter.
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [517.24] EFFECT ON FEDERAL LAW AND IN OTHER
JURISDICTIONS.
new text end

new text begin To the extent that the term "marriage" is given legal effect in federal law or the
law of another jurisdiction, a Minnesota civil union is the equivalent of a marriage and
individuals who have entered into a civil union contract shall be treated as "spouses" or
shall be treated as "husband" and "wife" for purposes of application to those laws.
new text end

Sec. 13. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 517.04; 517.041; 517.05; 517.06; 517.09; 517.13;
517.14; 517.15; 517.16; and 517.18,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

Sec. 14. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 13 are effective August 1, 2013, and apply to civil union contracts
applied for on or after that date. After August 1, 2013, the local registrar of each county
is prohibited from accepting or processing an application for a marriage license that is
inconsistent with the requirements of this act.
new text end