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.