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NY Majority Leader Skelos Again Says No Decision on Marriage Equality Vote, Citing Concern for Religious Exemptions

(image queer rising twitter)

According to reports on Twitter, GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged from an hours-long conference moments ago in Albany to say that there were still concerns about religious exemptions in the bill and that conferencing on it would continue.

Skelos said that they want to make sure provisions exist to protect the Catholic Church and other religious institutions, saying there are worries over "unintended consequences" of religous clauses in the bill.

Clarification from Capitol Confidential:

...Skelos said Cuomo’s office was “receptive” to negotiating. He wants members to feel “comfortable” that, if the bill is reported to the floor and passes, no social services provided by religious organizations will be halted as a result.

“With our conference, this is going to be a very deliberative process, and members on both sides of the issue are raising similar concerns,” he said. Such additional provisions may be considered in a chapter amendment — the Assembly passed a same-sex marriage bill submitted Cuomo — or in a new bill, that would have to pass both houses.

This creates an issue of trust for Republicans: if they come up with language that makes Republican members comfortable bringing the main bill to the floor, they’d need some assurance that the Assembly will also pass it. That would require a deal with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Cuomo.

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  1. Human rights are an "unintended consequence"?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 17, 2011 1:03:16 PM

  2. Maybe people need to do a massive sitin in Skelos's district office.

    Posted by: Matt Munson | Jun 17, 2011 1:05:19 PM

  3. Translation: We must insure tax dollars support full employment of the religious in ‘charitable organizations’ run by churches.

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 17, 2011 1:05:40 PM

  4. Translation: We must insure tax dollars support full employment of the religious in ‘charitable organizations’ run by churches.

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 17, 2011 1:07:44 PM

  5. John Kennedy ran for President and had to make a speech saying that he wouldn't let his religion affect the decisions he would make in office. Now we have the spectacle of the New York Senate saying the Catholic Church hasn't put its imprimatur on this bill, so they WON'T EVEN VOTE ON IT! So much for separation of Church and state in America. I am wishing I spoke Swedish nowadays.

    Posted by: candideinncc | Jun 17, 2011 1:10:52 PM

  6. Disgusting. This isn't going to happen, is it? I feel sick.

    Posted by: K | Jun 17, 2011 1:13:25 PM

  7. They need to follow the Constitution not the Catholic Church!


    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 17, 2011 1:16:05 PM

  8. @K: It depends if the talks about amending the bill are in earnest and a compromise can be reached or not. If we believe that the Republicans are only trying to poison the bill with discrimination and taking a hardline, then it won't happen. If a compromise can be reached, it will. I'm leaning towards the latter.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 17, 2011 1:16:16 PM

  9. F*cking ridiculous. They’re just making the GOP look worse and worse (if that’s even possible). Politics at its ugliest...

    Posted by: ichabod | Jun 17, 2011 1:17:09 PM

  10. this is the most disgusting, degrading feeling being held hostage by these bigots. What the hell are they doing in public office ??

    Posted by: paul | Jun 17, 2011 1:17:12 PM

  11. I said a day or two ago that the ONLY purpose for these meetings was to find a silver bullet that would kill the bill by coming up with a "compromise" that is completely unacceptable or finding a reason to not vote on it at all, or completely neutering the bill and then putting it out for a vote.

    Little did I know that they would come up with ONE silver bullet that could do all three.

    Never underestimate the douchebaggery potential of Republicans.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 17, 2011 1:18:48 PM

  12. From what I've read of the bill (and I've read a lot) it seems that there are plenty of rather explicit religious exemptions.

    Can someone please help me if I'm mistaken?

    I don't see any other possible "exemptions" that do not exist that these folks seem to think are needed.

    Am I missing something or is this just some standard GOP-lying and pretending to ignore the facts in order to cling to their chosen stance?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 17, 2011 1:24:58 PM

  13. I think we are seeing a compromise being worked out. Skelos and Cuomo know the session is not ending this Monday. There is no need to rush through this and shot ourselves in the foot.

    I know there are people lamenting that the GOP is being vague about the additional protections that must be in the bill, but that is just part of the negotiation process.

    When it is all said and done we could still fail to see the bill pass, but it won't be because we didn't have our act together like MD and RI. And if it does fails, in 2013 with Cuomo still governor you can bet the bill will be back and probably passed and without any of the additional language the GOP says is so desperately needed.

    Posted by: searunner | Jun 17, 2011 1:25:12 PM

  14. At point do we, as a community, say 'enough is enough' and take to the Albany,in New York City on the steps of St Patrick's Cathedral, and in front of every Republican Senator's district office?? Let's strike some fear in those who sit in their granite and marble towers. Phone calls arent getting the job done when the Archbishop can press his followers to do the same. Is it time to try another approach? If not now, when?

    Posted by: John | Jun 17, 2011 1:26:21 PM

  15. Has the Catholic Church become the newest member of the "shadow government"?

    Posted by: gb | Jun 17, 2011 1:26:35 PM

  16. The basic civil rights of gay NYers are indeed being held hostage by these despicable Republican political shenanigans.

    Have there been any "unintended consequences" over religious clauses in any of the states where marriage equality has been a reality for several years now? No. Has marriage equality in these states infringed on the religious liberties of any church? No. He acts like the NY bill is coming out of nowhere, when in fact several states (not to mention Canada) have been-there-done-that, with no problems.

    No qualms about trampling on our liberties, yet they need church permissions for a civil institution. It's nothing more than heinous game playing and political grandstanding.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 17, 2011 1:27:22 PM

  17. I don't think it's defeatist to acknowledge the reality that the vote may not happen or that the bill will probably be defeated because Skelos, Hikind et al are tools of the religious right in the NY Senate.

    Posted by: ant | Jun 17, 2011 1:30:03 PM

  18. Getting more than a little tired of having my rights denied by a bunch of old white bigots in Albany who'd rather suck Timothy Dolan's c0ck.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 17, 2011 1:30:08 PM

  19. I'm disturbed by this on many levels but am remaining hopeful...

    I have not been able to get an answer to this question:

    Do MA, VT, CT, NH, and IA have the sort of extra exemptions or 'carve outs' that the Republicans are looking? If not, has that created serious problems? I'm just trying to figure out if these are matters of substance or just delay tactics to avoid a vote before the session ends.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 17, 2011 1:31:15 PM

  20. We need to remind Skelos that he took an oath of office to defend the constitution from enemies foreign (the Vatican)& domestic (ARCHBishop Dolan).

    Posted by: Jessica Naomi | Jun 17, 2011 1:32:16 PM

  21. @Rick: This article explains it best as far as I can find, although it may be inaccurate:

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 17, 2011 1:34:37 PM

  22. This is all about Catholic and other religious groups that receive state money to provide social services. They want state money but want to be able to only provide services to those that follow their teachings.

    Posted by: qjersey | Jun 17, 2011 1:41:08 PM

  23. 1 more vote/Gay Marriage will be Leagalized in New York. Please take time to call all of these senators. First ring ALL picked up. I said.." My name is Josh and I believe they should Pass the Marriage Equality Bill." Be someone who makes a difference for someone else and their families.

    Andrew Lanza 718-984-4073
    Greg Ball 845-279-3773
    Kemp Hannon 516-739-1700
    Charles Fuschillo 516-882-0630
    Betty Little 518-743-0968

    Posted by: Josh6852 | Jun 17, 2011 1:45:48 PM

  24. The Catholic church must be appeased? Excuse me, when did America become a theocracy?

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 17, 2011 1:51:17 PM

  25. Where is the gay leadership in all of this? There should be busloads of people on buses from NYC to Albany for a massive demonstration on Saturday. The Republicans are not going to hand this to us - we are going to have to force it out of their old white hands...!! If I am not for myself, who will be for me??

    Posted by: kjpnyc | Jun 17, 2011 1:56:36 PM

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