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      Valley lawmaker files bill to create civil unions for same-sex couples

      A Rio Grande Valley lawmaker has filed a bill to create civil unions for same-sex couples in the Lone Star State.

      Texas State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa filed Senate Bill 480 on Monday.

      The bill would partially repeal the state's "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA, which denies same-gender couples the freedom to enter into a civil union.

      Hinojosa said that the bill would allow for civil unions same-sex couples and grant them the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities under the law as are granted to spouses in a marriage.

      "Providing legal protections, including property rights, homestead rights, child custody and support, adoption, group insurance for state employees, and worker compensation benefits, would treat same-gender couples with the dignity and respect they deserve as well as allow them the benefits to take care of their families," Hinojosa said in a statement released on Monday.