From Eric Dondero:
We reported here at LR on Saturday "Gay Marriage problematic for Catholic Churches - May lose Tax Exempt status":
The New York State Senate is set to vote on a Gay Marriage proposal next week; one of Gov. Cuomo's top priorities. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also been pushing the bill.Now, new news breaking that is being very under-reported by the mainstream media. There has been a major last minute change to the legislation.
One huge sticky point. Passage of the Bill will almost certainly mean Catholic Churches throughout NYC and the State will lose their tax exempt status.
New York's leading libertarian Republican Senator Greg Ball (who has been featured here at LR many times in the past), is desperately trying to work out a last minute compromise...
Governor Andrew Cuomo may now have the votes he needs to pass the bill. However, it took the inclusion of an explicit clause guaranteeing the rights of Catholic Churches and other entities, to refuse to perform gay marriage ceremonies, to get it passed.
The NY Daily News reports:
The bill also specifies that no clergy would be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies.Here's a summary of the language from Capitol Confidential (Albany) "Cuomo intros same-sex marriage, noting exemptions":
An entity incorporated under the benevolent orders and other organizations formed by religious orders “shall be deemed in its nature distinctly private and therefore, shall not be required to provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.” In other words, the Knights of Columbus or the Jonesville Hunting Club (which as a Jonesville native I assure you doesn’t actually exist, but you get my point) can continue to only rent their hall to members, and they, like the Boy Scouts and other private organizations, can set the criteria for membership.Senator Ball is credited with bringing about the change.
– Such a refusal “shall not create a civil claim or cause of action.” Which means, if you’re a gay couple just dying to get married in the Knights of Columbus catering hall, you can’t sue them if they say no.
The Cuomonian language, which was blessed yesterday by gay rights advocates, seems aimed at Republican senators like Sen. Greg Ball, R-Putnam County. It’s unclear whether Ball will be swayed.Note - outside of Capitol Confidential virtually no media, New York or nationally, is reporting this as a concession on the legislation by Cuomo.
Photo credit - DNAinfo.com