Religious Liberty Expert: Cuomo SSM Bill Fails To Protect Ordinary Religious Individuals


Robin Wilson, professor of law at Washington and Lee University and co-editor of the book “Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts” writes in the New York Sun:

Governor Cuomo said yesterday he would deliver a marriage equality bill identical to 2009’s failed attempt, “no ifs, ands or buts” about it. Who is it that he is kidding?

Mr. Cuomo’s bill vastly improves the ability of religious communities or agencies of religious organizations to avoid needless clashes over same-sex marriage. But, inexplicably, it fails to offer needed protections to ordinary individuals who also desire for religious reasons to step aside from facilitating same-sex marriages.

... Bakers, photographers, seamstresses, florists and bed-and-breakfast owners who, for religious reasons prefer to step aside from celebrating or facilitating same-sex marriages may be subject to suit under New York’s Human Rights Act. That law authorizes compensatory damages and, for housing discrimination, punitive damages and civil fines too.