NY gay-marriage talks hinge on religious rights

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June 23, 2011

"Will the Knights of Columbus be required to open their halls for gay weddings if New York lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage? Will Catholic adoption agencies be forced to choose between placing children with gay married couples or leaving the business?

"As New York moves closer to a vote on legislation that would make it the sixth and largest state where same-sex marriage is allowed, some Republicans are demanding stronger legal protections for religious organizations that object to the practice.

"'What's going on here is an effort to make a mountain out of a mole hill,' said Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation for Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization. 'There has been a notable absence of conflict anywhere in the country pitting marriage rights or civil union rights against religious objections.'"

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