Progress in NY gay marriage religious exemptions

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York legislative leaders say progress is being made to add religious exemptions to a gay marriage bill in the state and they see no major obstacles in those negotiations.

If the religious protections are added, the bill would still need to be debated by Senate Republicans, most of whom oppose gay marriage, before it is sent to a floor vote.

Democrats and Republicans say after meeting with Democratic Gov.
Andrew Cuomo a gay marriage bill could go to a vote Wednesday night. No deal had been struck as of Wednesday afternoon.

More protection for religious organizations such as adoption agencies and marriage counselors is sought by undecided Republican senators who are key to the vote.

Currently, the Senate appears to be one vote shy of making New
York the sixth state where gay marriage is legal. It's viewed as a
critical moment in the national gay rights movement.

Associated Press writer Michael Virtanen contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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