NY Senate Stalls on Gay Marriage Bill
Vote delayed at least til tomorrow as they argue over religious protections
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2011 5:22 PM CDT
Protesters for and against the same-sex marriage bill protest in the halls of the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Monday, June 20, 2011, as Senate Republicans, who can determine the measure's fate, consider...   (Hans Pennink)

(Newser) – Old-time, backroom politics faced down hundreds of chanting protesters from each side of the highly charged gay marriage debate in New York today as the issue stalled again over whether religious groups could be protected from discrimination charges. After a three-hour conference behind closed doors, while groups from each side waited in a stifling hallway, Senate Republicans emerged without comment. A vote to even move the bill to the floor for final legislative approval was pushed to at least tomorrow as negotiations continue between Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York's vote is pivotal in the national question over same-sex marriage, an effort that largely stalled in the same room two years ago when the Senate voted it down. Skelos worries a federal judge could strike down flimsy religious protections in the current proposal if a religious group, such as the Knights of Columbus, is sued for discrimination for refusing to provide its hall for a gay wedding. "I think that's critically important," Skelos said. Other opponents were more dire: "If this passes, we will become Sodom and Gomorrah," says one 80-year-old.

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Jun 21, 2011 1:39 PM CDT
The church issues are so old and don't stand up to any reason. The article mentioned "Knights of Columbus, is sued for discrimination for refusing to provide its hall for a gay wedding" That's not a logical argument; Can male/female Baptists or Methodists sue a Catholic church for not letting them get married in their Church? I don't know the answer, but I don't think so. A divorced Catholic can't even sue the church for denying them access. I can't say nobody, but I can say that surely I would never want to restrict the discrimination practices of any religion. That being said, I would take away their tax-exempt status - but that's another issue entirely.
Jun 20, 2011 11:42 PM CDT
All these so-called Christians trying to defend their ignorance and bigotry by saying gays are going to "ruin" marriage and it's "against their beliefs". Heterosexuals have done a brilliant job in ruining, trivializing and degrading marriage. The high divorce rate proves that. It's absolutely against my moral beliefs that churches should get tax breaks. We could practically wipe out hunger and provide health care for millions of citizens if we started taxing churches and all their property. So why aren't all you sanctimonious douchebags in favor of that? Christians can't do anything except hold on to their toxic, vicious hatred of everything that doesn't conform their anachronistic, narrow-minded view of the world. Keep your fucking religious delusions and mental illnesses to yourself. If you want to wallow in stupidity, hatred and prejudice, go right ahead, no one cares, but keep it to yourself. Keep defending your pedophile priests, too, they're doing a great job of making the point that your "religion" has been a major source of suffering, misery and pain in this world for thousands of years.
Jun 20, 2011 11:40 PM CDT
In 1972, homosexuality was a mental illness. In 1973, a slim majority of the American Psychiatric Association, having been harassed as its meetings by activist homosexuals, voted to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder. Poof. Sick yesterday, well today. How about another vote by the APA. It is nonsense to act as if homosexuality is normal. The homosexual agenda marches on unabated.