Republican Leader Dean Skelos said concerns over “unintended consequences” of legalizing same-sex marriage is stalling the issue and there’s no timeline for when the legislation will be brought up for a vote in the State Senate, where advocates are one vote short of passing it.
Skelos, after a two-hour, closed door meeting, said he feared exposing religious organizations to lawsuits if they denied services to gay couples. “We’re reviewing that,” he said, and that Governor Cuomo’s staff are “receptive to some changes” to their bill, which narrowly passed the Assembly earlier this week. “Those discussions are going to continue,” he said.
“When SONDA was passed, the Catholic church discontinued certain services,” said Skelos. “We saw with the Catholic church, they gave up adoption services.”
Skelos said people on “both sides” are raising similar concerns, implying that Democrats — who corralled 29 of their 30 members to public support the bill — share Republicans’ concerns.
A spokesman for Skelos said he expects to meet with Governor Cuomo — an advocate for the bill — later today.