Members of the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender community blasted State Senator Marty Golden for signing onto a lawsuit that could block New York’s acceptance of same-sex marriages from other states.
On Saturday, members of the Lambda Independent Democrats (LID), Brooklyn’s largest LGBT political club, joined members of Manhattan’s Stonewall Democrats at City Hall to decry the Bay Ridge/Marine Park senator’s actions.
Golden is the only State Senator from the city who has signed onto the suit, which calls for an injunction against Governor David Paterson’s decree for state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages in California, Canada and other places where these nuptials are performed legally.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month with the assistance of a Conservative Christian policy group.
“Marty Golden has got to go,” LID Co-President Dan Willson said at Saturday’s protest. “It is shameful that he would try and block recognition of those who are already legally married.”
Besides calling for Golden’s ouster, LGBT political leaders are calling upon Kings County Democratic Party Boss Vito Lopez to find a Democratic candidate to run against Golden, who is seeking re-election this year. So far, Golden is running unopposed, despite the push to get a Democratic majority in the State Senate this year.
Calls to Lopez’s office for comment were not returned as this paper went to press.
Terrance Knox, co-president of LID, charged that Golden has shown a pattern of homophobic behavior in recent years.
“We have learned to expect this kind of intolerance from Marty Golden,” he said. “This is the same guy who had a problem with bus shelter posters for television’s The L Word [a show about the Lesbians in California].”
As protestors lashed out at Golden and other “elected officials in Brooklyn legally denying us marriage equality in this state,” LGBT political clubs also announced their 2008 “Conversion Tour in Brooklyn,” which is geared toward “changing hearts and minds so the next time these individuals have an opportunity to vote for marriage equality they will do just that,” Willson said.
“We should be able to marry the people we love right here in New York,” he said. “We still need to pass marriage equality in the legislature.”
When contacted by this paper, Golden said his participation in the lawsuit wasn’t about the subject matter, but the process.
“This has nothing to do with gay marriage, it has to do with the Governor pre-empting the state legislature,” said Golden. “We had a guy who did that before. That was Eliot Spitzer and we did not like the way he governed.”
“We just want to make sure that Paterson doesn’t pick up any of [Spitzer’s] bad habits,” he said. “You can’t rule by fiat and take the vote away from the people.”
Responding to the protestors’ claims, Golden said that he is “far from” homophobic.
“There are many people in the gay community who live in the community I serve and vote for me,” he said. “People can say anything they wish, but that doesn’t make it true.”
Golden also doesn’t seem too concerned about protestors pitting someone against him this year.
“Anyone is more than welcome to run,” he said, adding that the voters already see the “day-to-day work I put in to help my community.”
“I’m preserving the quality of life in my community. Not some members of my community, all members of my community and I will continue to work for everyone in my district.”