New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced marriage equality legislation today.
According to the Albany Times Union, Cuomo’s bill wouldn’t have been sent to the state Senate if the governor didn’t believe he had the votes for it to pass. This is the last week the bill can be considered before the end of the legislative session.
Among the exemptions in the bill is the right for clergy to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Activists say state law already allows clergy to decide whom they will marry.
In addition to churches, private facilities may decide who may rent from them. If they do not want to rent to a couple for a wedding reception, they don’t have to. The law also shields them from prosecution.
Danny O’Donnell, a gay member of the New York Assembly, said none of this would change existing law. O’Donnell said he didn’t include this wording in his own version because it only references laws already on the books.
New York City’s conservative Daily News emphasized the Catholic Church’s opposition along with other groups with ironic names like New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. But a poll on the site showed that 77 percent of respondents favor marriage equality.