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Still 1 vote shy, Cuomo confident NY state Senate will approve gay marriage billand

Still 1 vote shy, Cuomo confident NY state Senate will approve gay marriage billand
Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday expressed optimism that legislation legalizing same-sex marriage would be approved before the end of the legislative session next week.

Cuomo indicated that to win passage of the measure, he is prepared to yield to Republican concerns for greater protections of religious groups, reported The New York Times.

“I am a proponent of marriage equality, and I’m working very hard to make that a reality in New York,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters on Friday as lawmakers prepared to go home for the weekend. “I am also a proponent of religious freedom, and separation of church and state, so these are both very important principles. I don’t see one in competition with the other.”

With signs pointing to a vote on the marriage issue in the State Senate next week, there are widespread expectations that it will pass. A number of Republicans are said to prefer that the matter not be allowed to come up for a vote, but 31 of the Senate’s 62 members have expressed support for the measure, including two Republicans.

Senate Republicans are seeking further provisions to protect religious organizations and affiliated charities from litigation if they refuse to host or provide services for same-sex weddings. Cuomo said he was prepared to respond to the Senate’s concerns.

Lawmakers have adjourned for the weekend, with the legislative session scheduled to end Monday.

Cuomo remained confident same-sex marriage would “pass at the right time,” and left open the possibility he would extend the legislative session beyond Monday if a resolution was not reached.

The bill passed in the state Assembly on Wednesday by a vote of 80-63.

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