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Teen confronts Pawlenty on marriage equality, says discrimination against gays ‘hurts’

At a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday, a member of the audience grilled Tim Pawlenty on his views about rights for LGBT people. Gabe Aderhold, a senior at Edina High School, asked Pawlenty why he has “not had the courage to stand for me and my friends. You are discriminating against me and it hurts.” Pawlenty said he will never be at the point “where I’ll say that every domestic relationship is the same as traditional marriage.”

Pawlenty has opposed all efforts in Minnesota to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. And his opposition extends beyond marriage equality. He vetoed legislation that would give same-sex couples the right to fulfill a deceased partner’s last wishes in 2010. In 2008, he vetoed a bill that would allow local units of government to provide health care benefits for same-sex couples.

Also in 2008, he vetoed a bill to allow government employees, including same-sex partners, to use sick time to care for a seriously ill family member. The Minnesota Family Council pressed for a veto and got one.

“The end game in all of this is a legal imposition of homosexual marriage upon the state of Minnesota,” said Tom Prichard, the group’s president, at the time.

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