“Greg Ball promised a bill would be dead without genuine religious liberty protection,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). “We’re counting on Senate leadership to deliver on that promise.”
NEW YORK - NOM released its legal analysis of the hastily added religious liberty provision in Andrew Cuomo’s same sex marriage bill.
“Andrew Cuomo’s last minute language, added without time for review in order to pick off GOP votes, clearly failed to protect many religious organizations and individuals. Groups including Catholic adoption agencies will be at risk and it will do nothing to protect the rights of parents concerning their children’s education,” said Brown.
“New York adoption and discrimination laws are particularly complex,” said Josh Baker, NOM’s legal analyst. “Without a very clear exemption, Catholic Charities is likely to be forced to shut adoption and foster care services due to the cost of litigation that would threaten its many other charities. This happened in Illinois, even though the bill’s own sponsor thought religious liberty would be protected. He was shocked to discover it wasn’t true. New York Senators cannot claim that ignorance if they vote yes on this bill.”
In addition, because the bill declares marriage a fundamental right, the interaction between that language and the religious liberty language is not clear and would have to be extensively litigated. (The consequences for the context for future litigation are also unclear.)
“Last minute fake religious liberty protection is not good enough,” said Brown. “GOP senators have been warned. Their conscience is now at stake.”