After weeks of saying he was undecided on the issue, Sen. Greg Ball announced Thursday night that he would vote against legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
“Knowing that marriage equality was likely to pass, I thought it important to force the issue of religious protections,” Ball said in a statement, released shortly after 8:15 p.m. Thursday. “I thought it was important to listen to all of my constituents and hold an undecided position until the actual bill language was written and everyone’s voice had been heard.”
Ball had said he was unsure whether he supported the intent of the law but in the past two weeks has criticized the wording, saying it didn’t provide adequate protections for religious institutions that did not want to perform same-sex marriages. In Thursday’s statement, Ball said he believed he had strengthened the language but that the bill still lacked certain religious protections he thought were vital.
The Marriage Equality Act, which has passed in the Assembly and is supported by Gov. Cuomo, is believed to be one supporter short of passing in the Senate but has yet to come up for a vote.