Republican State Senator Greg Ball ended weeks of speculation, saying he will vote against the same-sex marriage bill which he had been publicly negotiating.
In a public statement, Ball said the bill “still lacks many of the basic religious protections I thought were vital.”
In recent weeks, Ball garnered a lot of attention for criticizing the lack of religious protections in the bill, while maintaing he was open to voting for it. In a recent CNN appearance, he declined to say what it would take for him to vote yes on it.
A group of three undecided Republican State Senators have been meeting privately with Governor Cuomo to carve out protections for religious organizations, which was an issue Ball had been championing. Cuomo, yesterday, said there were “no obstacles” in his negotiations with the Republicans.
The exact language of what Cuomo and the three Republican State Senators ultimately agreed to has not been made public, and Ball did not elaborate on his complaint of the bill.
Right now, advocates have 31 votes for the bill, one short of the minimum needed to pass it in the State Senate.
Update: Ball’s spokeswoman said the final legislation protects “religious corporations” but not employees of those “religious corporations” like pastors and ministers, who actually do the work of marrying people.