New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that he's prepared to strengthen the religious exemptions in his proposed gay marriage bill, The New York Times reported.

The governor made his remarks after several days of closed-door meetings with Republican leaders in the Senate.

“I am a proponent of marriage equality, and I'm working very hard to make that a reality in New York,” Cuomo told reporters. “I am also a proponent of religious freedom, and separation of church and state, so these are both very important principles. I don't see one in competition with the other.”

The announcement could break a stalemate in the Senate, which is evenly divided on the issue.

Several undecided GOP senators have said they were withholding their support over the issue of protections for religious groups.

Cuomo did not elaborate on specific concerns.

“We've had good meetings. We've had good discussions,” Cuomo said. “I believe we can address their concerns without going over the line.”

The Assembly approved the measure on Wednesday. And with proponents in the Senate only one vote shy of a victory, expectations are increasing that it will pass there, too.