Ball Says Senate Should Vote On Same-Sex Marriage


As we reported this morning, Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, yesterday called for a vote in the Senate on legalizing same-sex marriage. Even though Ball is officially undecided, he said the public should get a vote on the issue, despite an attempt by the state Conservative Party to quash a vote.

“There should definitely be a vote, up or down. We live in a democracy,” Ball said.

He went on to question the Conservative Party’s thinking on the issue, saying that same-sex marriage may ultimately become law in New York at some point and perhaps its best to fight for as strong as legal protections as possible for churches and religious organizations that wouldn’t want to perform gay marriages.

“You have people on the extreme right and you have the Conservative Party that they want to bottle it up for instant gratification. But they have to realize that we live in New York state, not the state of Texas, and marriage equality will probably become law in New York state,” he said. “They’ve got to make the calculated decision would they rather have it happen now with real religious protections or do they want it shoved down their throats a few years from now? And I think in some respects, they are being very short sighted.”

Ball said he remains undecided and as of late yesterday hadn’t seen language that’s being crafted on religious carve out. Ball has wanted language that would exempt businesses who wouldn’t want to recognize same-sex couples, something that gay-rights groups say would be discriminatory and infringe on already well-established human rights laws in New York.

“I haven’t seen any final language, but my thoughts are that the governor’s office was very engaged,” Ball said. “I think that the governor’s office feels that they can’t provide the type of protections that I was speaking of. It doesn’t mean that they’re not going to provide the protections that other members care about.”

Senate Republicans are set to hold a closed-door conference this morning to determine whether they will have a vote as early as today on the issue. They are one vote shy of the 32 votes needed for passage.


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  1. Jon in Rochester on

    I’m confused if Mr. Ball is talking about religious affiliated businesses or any businesses. If he is saying that a non-religious affilitated business can put a sign in the window saying “No gays allowed” then I have a problem with that.

  2. Jon,

    Ball wants protections for businesses that don’t want to serve certain customers because of religious beliefs. The most common example is that if a gay couple wants to get married and they want to order flowers, the flower shop owner would be allowed to refuse to fill the order because of religious convictions.

    It’s basically akin to putting a sign inside the shop instead of in the window.

  3. It will be law in New York at some point. Not “probably will be”. If not by legislation,
    than the Federal Courts will take it out of the hands of the legislature. Lets not
    forget the Prop 8 trial in California. Even if the “Protect Marriage” group acting as
    defendant in that trial is found to have no standing, The plantiff, The American
    Foundation for Equal rights will not stop until marriage equality is the law in all 50 states.
    The time of religion having a privilaged and determinative status in American politics
    and law is coming to an end.

  4. momwithphone on

    “There should definitely be a vote, up or down. We live in a democracy,” Ball said.
    We don’t live in a Democracy! We live in a Republic!

  5. Harris,
    If that’s what they write into the law, it’s clearly unconstitutional, just as writing in provision that a restaurant owner whose religious beliefs forbids interracial relationships could refuse to serve dinner to such a couple.

  6. John Margand on

    Sorry Greg, you’re out of your depth. It’s clear that a state-wide referendum is required to properly weigh the implications of so radical a change to society’s foundational institution. We’re disappointed that you have abdicated your resposibility to defend genuine marriage. Memo to conservatives: It’s time to primary Ball.

  7. justanothercrusader on

    Uh oh.. the Jesus mafia has spoken. They’re gonna come get him.

    That’s okay Greg, the majority (nearly 60%) of New Yorkers got your back. don’t be intimidated by those who want to enforce Christian Sharia Law.

  8. Frank,if it takes a Constitutional Amendment to remove the right of courts to treat the necessary public policy discouraging homosexual activity as infringing “equal rights” then we must have that Constitutional Amendment.”Marriage equality” is a crime against humanity,and the exclusively normative status of opposite-sex relationships in a sexually dimorphic species is not a religious issue.I am not religious and never have been.

  9. Louis, it is unfortunate that you use terms like “crime against humanity,” but when you’re asked specifically about what harm you will be suffering, you can only give generic answers.

  10. justanothercrusader on

    Louis of course homosexuality is not “normal” since it doesn’t occur as frequently in nature as heterosexuality, but it is “natural”.

    God forbid average working Americans who pay their taxes and happen to be gay and lesbian should demand their “equal rights” (your quotes) as citizens.

    And can you get anymore exaggerated than “crime against humanity”. Jeez. As Rod alluded to, never once has any harm been shown. The lawyers defending Prop 8 had their case turned into swiss cheese, it was filled with so many holes.

    That gasp you hear from people like John Margand and Louis E. is the last dying breath of bigotry.

  11. Justanothercrusader,
    That it exists in nature does not mean it SHOULD exist…all sorts of things that shouldn’t exist,do,but we should not accommodate them.Persons unwisely identifying with their affliction of same-sex attraction have the same right to participate in an institution whose existence is only justifiable by its reservation to opposite-sex relationships as the rest of us,and all of us have the same ZERO right to have a relationship that is not opposite-sex covered by that institution.And same-sex sexual relationships cause harm just by existing and the symptoms of harm include claiming not to be harmed.Any judge ruling against Prop 8 deserves impeachment.
    And the homosexual lobby are demanding to be treated as bigots treat their target groups,while charging those who do not act like bigots with hatred and bigotry.I say they are capable of rising above their homosexuality and admitting that same-sex sexual activity is by nature unjustifiable.They demand to be seen as helpless slaves of their hormones.

  12. justanothercrusader on

    Louis clearly you weren’t born gay, because you have no empathy for anyone in that situation, and you believe it is a simple choice like wardrobe selection, or addiction like alcoholism.

    You probably don’t have any interest in reading up on the scientific basis for sexual orientation, but if you did it could be helpful. I’ll discuss more with you if you’re willing to look into it.

    Otherwise, it’s a waste of time for both of us and your point of view will become increasingly marginalized, while my point of view gains validation.

  13. Sen. Ball, please, just vote NO and get it over with. No need to dray it out any further and no need for compromise. The way I see it, it will be shoved down everyone’s throat in the end (or at least they will try).

  14. Justanothercrusader,
    getting involved in a same-sex sexual relationship IS a choice,a WRONG choice that homosexual orientation,inborn or not,is NO excuse for.Wanting to do something doesn’t make it right,regardless of whether the desire is voluntary.And pendulums swing both ways,not that your point of view would be reasonable even if everyone on earth believed it.

  15. “…it will be shoved down everyone’s throat…”

    What is it with conservatives’ preoccupation with things being shoved (or rammed) down peoples’ throats? The republican noise machine has been using this phraseology ever since the 2008 election. Isn’t it about time they switched to a different talking point?

  16. Louis E, I’m with you!

    And once this saga is over, let’s make left-handedness illegal too. It’s clearly a CHOICE… no one needs to write with their left hand after all, despite their protestations that they’re “born that way”. They have the option to write with their right hands just like the rest of us, or not write at all if they so choose.

    Just because left-handedness occurs rarely in nature doesn’t mean it’s NATURAL. I mean just look that up in the dictionary… mine says “existing in nature” which clearly… hey wait… oh my, clearly my dictionary was written by a member of the HOMOXEXUAL LOBBY! which apparently comprises the majority of New Yorkers!

  17. But, but, Jamie, I’m afraid they’ll come after me just because some people THINK I’m left-handed, because I use my computer mouse on the left-hand side – I even ‘experimented’ with left-handedness after my right wrist was broken in a car accident. What should I do? ;-)

  18. Jamie,did I ever say that it wasn’t “natural”?…I said that it SHOULD not exist in nature regardless of whether or not it DOES.
    And lefthandedness is hardly as contra-survival a trait as homosexuality.(Say,did you hear there’s a poll just out that says 57% of New Yorkers are against SSM?…not as interesting to you as the one that says the opposite,but…)

  19. Did not know of that poll. Would be interested to see the link. I actually don’t care what the numbers are. This is not a “majority rule” type of thing. If 57% of the public was pro-slavery that wouldn’t make it right. The court was right to take action on that in Brown v. Board instead of waiting for the legislative process to eventually get us there, because discriminatory laws are unconstitutional.

    I apologize for my sarcasm. This is one of very few issues where I think the right answer is clear. Honestly. On so many other topics, even if I personally have a strong view, I certainly see the reasoning on the other side, agree that it’s legitimate, but simply disagree with the conclusion. But regarding same sex marriage: I have never read any argument from the religious right that I feel is legitimate, and I’ve read a lot.

    I said “religious right” for lack of a better term. I do not think the right term is “conservative”; I am quite conservative myself. And I think a true conservative should be in favor of same-sex marriage (especially when the decision is made at the state level).

  20. Jamie,
    I am neither religious nor conservative myself,on the whole (pro-abortion-rights,pro-gun-control,anti-death-penalty,anti-creationist,pro-national-health insurance).And I believe that treating a homosexual’s refusal to remain sober as more worthy of respect or acceptance than an alcoholic’s refusal to remain sober is absurd.The whole notion that this is “discrimination against people” annoys me,it is a clear-cut issue of standards of conduct,and standards of conduct by their nature apply to everyone,not just those who would not be minded to violate them in the first place.Our species has two sexes,which makes opposite-sex relationships exclusively normative and failures to adhere to that norm unfortunate.and obliges responsible governments to secure preferential treatment to opposite-sex relationships.Laws that “discriminate” in favor of socially useful behaviors over the alternative are frankly constitutionally required.

    The poll link I saw had a really long Scribd URL.In any case,if everyone thought same-sex “marriage” was OK it would still be completely indefensible.

  21. Senator Ball wants to carve out an exception for civil servants, too — for instance, allowing a town/city clerk to refuse to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples because it’s against their religious beliefs. Frankly, that’s crossing the separation of church & state. If you’re a business and you don’t want to deal with gay folk and take their money, that’s your prerogative. But to go into the public sector and act on behalf of the government and actively discriminate by refusing to obey the laws of the state, just goes way too far.

  22. Senator Ball wants to carve out an exception for civil servants, too — for instance, allowing a town/city clerk to refuse to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples because it’s against their religious beliefs. Frankly, that’s crossing the separation of church & state. If you’re a business and you don’t want to deal with gay folk and take their money, that’s your prerogative. But to go into the public sector and act on behalf of the government and actively discriminate by refusing to obey the laws of the state, just goes way too far.

    Oh, and Senator Ball has reproduced much of this article on his web site — presumably, without permission.

  23. If I were a public official,I’d refuse to be complicit in the treatment of a same-sex relationship as qualified to be a marriage because it conflicts with my NON-religious beliefs,and this law would offer me no protection from the treatment of this principled distinction between right and wrong as “discrimination” against wrongdoers,so I couldn’t agree to marry anyone at all.If I were to marry myself,I’d have to go to a state where marriage retains its essential purpose of uniting males to females.

  24. Louis, there’s a difference. These religious institutions are asking not to have to perform weddings, rent space for receptions, etc.
    What services are you asking not to have to provide?

  25. I would not,in any capacity,wish to provide any service that aided or abetted the treatment of a same-sex relationship as a marriage.Signing paperwork that allowed them to represent themselves as married would qualify.

  26. Oh, so your entire post above was in the context of “If I were a public official…”?

  27. All up to the point that I mentioned needing to leave the state to get married myself.(I would not,for a wedding of my own,be comfortable hiring the services of anyone who did not refuse to provide those services to same-sex couples’ “weddings”).

  28. You want to discrimate in favor of “socially-useful” behavior? That is a scary, scary notion. I believe that citizens should be allowed to do what they like, so long as they don’t harm anyone. Maybe America is the wrong country for you.

  29. What justifies any law except imposing what is better for society over individual desires that are worse?

  30. Government should prevent citizens from harming each other. Apart from that, we should be free to do as we please.

    I’ve heard many people argue that gay marriage causes harm to others, though I don’t buy that at all. What exactly are you saying is harmful about it?

  31. Oh, Jamie, if you can get him to answer that question, I will give you a medal. I’ve been asking him that in several threads, and the fact that he keeps evading is indication he should re-examine his stance.