The State Senate has given initial backing to extending health insurance benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.
Senate Bill 88 must pass another vote before it can be sent to the house. Some Republican lawmakers say the bill violates the will of the voters. Two years ago, voters rejected a proposal to grant domestic partner status to same-sex couples.
Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe said the bill goes against his religious beliefs and that homosexuality is an offense to God. He quoted bible passages about the creation of Eve as Adam's helper and about homosexuality.
The bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jennifer Veiga, who is a lesbian. She said that God also created her and said, ``the last time I checked, I am who I am.''