New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presents his 2011-12 budget proposal in Albany, New York February 1, 2011. REUTERS

Senate Republicans emerged from a three-hour conference behind closed doors in New York's capital without comment on Monday.

The topic being discussed was the gay marriage debate as questions remain about religious groups' protections from discrimination if a law legalizing same-sex marriage is enacted.

Lawmakers will vote on Tuesday to decide if a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state will move to the floor for a final vote., according to the Associated Press.

Private negotiations include Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Skelos told AP it's critically important that there be protections that will allow a religious group to follow its principles without running afoul of the law.

Meanwhile Cuomo is urging people to contact their Senators to vote for the law, saying the state is closer than ever.

A similar measure failed two years ago in the Senate.