Governor Cuomo said he finds it “encouraging” that Republicans are negotiating with him over exceptions for religious organizations in his landmark same-sex marriage bill, which is one vote shy of passing the State Senate, and would make New York the first state to approve the measure by a vote of lawmakers.
“I find it encouraging,” Cuomo said of his negotiations with a handful of wavering Republicans in the State Senate, who have called for greater protections in the bill so that religiously-affiliated groups would not be exposed to discrimination lawsuits for denying services to homosexual couples.
“We’ve made good progress and we’re working well together,” Cuomo said, referring to the Republican holdouts.
“I believe we can address their concerns without going over the line,” into discrimination, he said.
On the broader point, Cuomo pointed to himself as an example of someone who could be loyal to his religious beliefs while supporting the bill.
“I happen to be a Catholic. And that’s my business and that’s my religion” Cuomo said. “This has nothing to do with my beliefs as a Catholic. This is marriage in a civil context. Marriage as defined by government, not by a religion. And the law has to protect that separation and that’s what we’re working through.”