Since his vote against gay marriage affected their homes, an outraged group of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) activists visited Mill Island in an attempt to destroy the Sunday afternoon sanctity of the place where State Senator Carl Kruger hangs his hat.
With their oak tag signs reading “Shame on you, Carl Kruger” slowly turning to mush in the rain, protestors railed at Kruger’s decision to vote against the Marriage Equity bill, which ultimately fell in the State Senate 38 to 24.
Kruger was the lone Brooklyn Democrat to vote against the measure. The only other ‘no’ vote to come out of the Brooklyn delegation was State Senator Marty Golden, a Republican from Bay Ridge.
“It is outrageous that Senator Carl Kruger, who has never married a woman, can tell us that our families are worthless,” said Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic club, who led the Sunday afternoon charge on Kruger’s abode. “His persona and tenure in the State Senate holds as much legitimacy, integrity and honesty as Liza Minnelli’s marriage to David Gest.”
Kruger told this paper last week that he had received thousands of calls, emails and letters from his mostly conservative constituency not to vote in favor of gay marriage, even though he is in favor of extending rights to any couple that “shares the same roof.”
“I believe one of the responsibilities of government legislators is to put their personal feelings aside and do what their constituency wants to the best of their ability,” he said. “While there is always going to be a faction that is not going to agree, I dare anyone to take a walk around the district and see what my constituents want. Their view is going to be congruent with the way I voted.”
“It’s a shame and hurtful that he has taken a position against our families and homes so we are bringing the protest to his home, telling him that his vote is against the tide of civil rights history and that he had made the wrong decision,” said Gary Steinkohl of Marriage Equality New York, who said that Kruger’s explanation doesn’t hold water.
“If we left civil rights decisions to the majority, we wouldn’t have civil rights,” he said. “It’s promoted by the greater good and it’s doing what is right and [Kruger] made the wrong decision.”
Steinkohl said Marriage Equality New York was going to “do whatever is needed to change the political structure” in Albany so gay marriage will pass when comes up for a vote next year.
Other protestors said that they plan to hit Kruger in the wallet by cajoling his longtime supporters not to fund his 2010 reelection.
“I felt very betrayed [by Kruger’s vote],” said protestor Michael Disanto, a Gravesend resident who lives in Kruger’s district. “I know that the community isn’t as against gay marriage as he claims. He’s lying when he says that he received all those phone calls.”
As they paraded outside his home, Kruger never came out to confront them. It wasn’t clear if he was even home.
Yet in a statement provided the next day, Kruger applauded the protestors’ zeal.
“I always felt that passionate advocacy is the strongest component of democracy,” he said. “Dialogue is always the best ingredient for resolution and my hope is that constructive discussion will be the order of the day as we go forward.”