State Senator Greg Ball (R, C, Patterson) announced Thursday night that he will not be supporting the same-sex marriage legislation even though he said he believes marriage equality will likely pass in New York State regardless.
Earlier this week, Ball said he was undecided about how he would vote on the legislation – asking his constituents to share their opinions with him for an open discussion. However, Ball said he would consider supporting the bill if the writing was amended to provide exemptions for religious institutions.
“Now that the final text is public, I am proud that I have secured some strong protections for religious institutions and basic protections for religious organizations,” Ball said in a press release. “The bill still lacks many of the basic religious protections I thought were vital, and for this reason, and as I did in the Assembly, I will be voting ‘no.’”
The bill, which was introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last Tuesday, needs 32 votes to pass in the Senate. Hudson Valley State Senators, Ball and Stephen Saland (R,I,C - Poughkeepsie), were considered potential swing votes for the same-sex marriage bill. As of Thursday, Saland remains undecided. Cuomo has said he supports same-sex marriages, and is expected to sign the bill, if it's passed.
Same-sex marriage legislation was defeated in the New York State Senate in 2009 but it has passed in the Assembly numerous times. If approved, New York would become the sixth state in the nation to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Gay marriages are currently recognized in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Washington D.C. and Oregon.
Ball represents the 40th District of the New York State Senate, covering much of Northern Westchester, all of Putnam, and portions of Duchess Counties.