Amendments to Marriage Bill Taking Shape, Vote Uncertain

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he has seen the proposed changes to the same-sex marriage bill that could address Republicans demands to protect religiously affiliated organizations from discrimination lawsuits and financial penalties if they deny services to gay couples.

After a two-hour closed door meeting with Governor Cuomo and the Republican State Senate Leader, Silver told reporters he’s seen the chapter amendments, but said there was no final deal on that issue.

“They are not necessarily defined amendments,” Silver, a lawyer, said. “They would just guarantee certain religious freedoms for religious institutions.” He added, “There’s no final agreement on exact language.”

Skelos said he won’t broach the issue with his conference until there is “final legislation.” Asked if the bill could be voted on today, Skelos said, “I have no idea. I really don’t.” When pressed, he said, “I don’t think so. I’m not sure.” Amendments to Marriage Bill Taking Shape, Vote Uncertain