Sen. Greg Ball, R-Carmel, Putnam County, said after reading the same-sex marriage legislation released this afternoon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he is still undecided on how he would vote.
While there are some additional protections in Cuomo’s bill for religious institutions and organizations affiliated with religious institutions, “I would have personally liked to have seen stronger, more thorough protections for individuals and businesses with religious objections,” Ball said.
The senator said he is concerned individuals and businesses with religious objections to same-sex marriage could be opened up to lawsuits, and he plans to check in with the Catholic Church and other religious organizations about the bill.
“I’m going to go back to those communities that I’ve been working with and see how comfortable they are with the current language,” he said.
Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, is another senator who has not decided how he would vote on a gay-marriage bill. Saland said this afternoon that he is reviewing the bill and has some questions that need to be answered.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Conference has released a statement opposing the governor’s bill. This is what Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the group, said:
“While the language of the Governor’s bill obviously offers some religious exemption language not appearing in previous drafts of this legislation, our initial analysis is that it is not as comprehensive and adequate as has been passed and is being considered in other states.
“Also as a fundamental principle, we continue to oppose passage of this bill because it would redefine the institution of marriage.”