Sen. Greg Ball, seen as a key swing vote on marriage equality legislation in New York, clarified his stance on the issue Wednesday, saying he was still undecided but laying out some provisions that must be in any potential law for him to consider voting for it.
Ball said he is seeking guarantees that no person would be required to conduct marriage ceremonies against their beliefs; that religious or tax-exempt organizations won’t be required to provide services they object to because of their beliefs, religious or otherwise; and that no individual or organization will be required to allow its property or services to be used for any function to which its objects or will have its tax-exempt status threatened “because of failure to permit usage of their property for same sex ceremonies.”
Though Ball said he will vote against any legislation without these provisions, he would not necessarily vote for a law including them, according to a spokesperson for the senator.
“As a young leader and firm believer in less government, not more, I genuinely appreciate both sides of this polarizing issue,” Ball said in a statement released Wednesday. “On one side, it is viewed as a civil rights issue, and on the other side, a direct affront on heartfelt religious beliefs.”
Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in New York has strong support from Gov. Cuomo and the Democrat-controlled Assembly, but its passage in the Republican-controlled Senate remains up in the air. Three Republicans and all but one Democrat have said they would support marriage equality, meaning two more Republicans are needed for its passage, according to an article this week in The New York Times.