Thursday, June 23, 2011

No Vote Yet on NY Marriage Equality

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
After days of of closed-door negotiations, there has still been no vote in the New York State senate on the marriage equality bill. A vote was expected Wednesday evening as the legislature worked after hours during the last official day of the legislative session.

At issue in the Republican-controlled senate is the question of religious exemptions from recognizing same-sex marriages for the purposes of employee benefits, adoption, foster care and other areas where faith-based organizations want to be free to discriminate. Under the version of the bill passed by the Democratic-controlled NY State Assembly and supported by Governor Cuomo, there were no such exemptions.

The senate bill is one vote shy of passing and needs only one Republican to cross party lines.

Cuomo has stepped into the negotiations saying he is open to including religious exemptions. Assembly members have said they are also open to revising their version of the bill in order to get it passed.

The other hold up is that senate Republicans are insisting on addressing other legislative matters before voting on the Marriage Equality Bill. Capitol Confidential Reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo applauded leaders of the Civil Service Employees Association for the tentative contract agreement they reached Wednesday, while insisting stalled progress on same-sex marriage and an omnibus bill to renew rent regulations, cap local property taxes and relieve some local government mandates.
“These are very, very complex matters that we’re talking about,” Cuomo told reporters late Wednesday. “That they’re not done immediately is sort of the essence of what we’re doing here. The rent regulation, property tax mandate relief bill is a complicated bill…If it takes a little bit more time, it takes a little bit more time. I would much rather get it right than rush it.”
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