On Tuesday, the Minnesota House approved a measure that allows gay and lesbian couples to control the remains of a loved one. If approved, it would be the first time the state has recognized gay couples as domestic partners.

House members approved the measure on a 78-to-55 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Eric Murphy, a Saint Paul Democrat, allows a surviving domestic partner to decide what to do with the remains of a loved one. Currently, only married spouses can make such decisions under Minnesota law. The measure also allows a partner the right to sue to recover funeral and hospital costs in the event of a wrongful death.

“This legislation eliminates two of 515 Minnesota laws that discriminate against committed couples,” Murphy told Minnesota Public Radio.

“I think it's important because we should never tolerate discrimination in Minnesota,” she added.

Gay marriage advocates in February hailed a first-ever hearing on legislation that would give gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.