Consensus Reached on Religious Exemptions in Gay Marriage Bill
The Cuomo administration and legislative leaders have reached agreement on language to protect religious institutions from obligations to recognize same-sex marriage, two people involved in the negotiations said on Friday afternoon, potentially paving the way for a vote on the marriage legislation.
Senate Republicans were still discussing the marriage bill in a closed-door meeting on Friday afternoon; it remained unclear when — or if — they would permit a vote on the broader legislation. The State Assembly, which approved an earlier version of the same-sex marriage bill last week, would need to approve the new language before the full bill could become law.
Emerging from a meeting with Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the Assembly version of the bill, said that there was an “agreement in principle” on the new language. He predicted that the Assembly would vote to adopt the new language on Friday.
Gay rights advocates said they were hopeful that the same-sex marriage bill would win passage before lawmakers left Albany for the year.