Scott Klein, an LGBT activist and resident of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, told The Politicker today that his State Senator, Marty Golden, has refused to meet with him and a group of his fellow constituents to discuss same-sex marriage.
Klein, a real estate broker, has been a resident of Golden’s district for the past six years and serves on the local Community Board. He is also prominent in local Democratic circles, serving as an officer for the Bay Ridge Democrats and as a board member for LAMBDA Independent Democrats.
Klein said, however, that he stressed to Golden’s office that he wanted to meet with the lawmaker as a constituent, along with other LGBT and same-sex marriage backers who live in the district.
“My feeling is dialogue is always important,” Klein said. “But they said that his position is firm, that they don’t see how a meeting would be productive and that we would just leave pissed off.”
The debate over gay marriage has been heating up, with Andrew Cuomo barnstorming around the state to push for it and today, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn heading up to Albany to lobby lawmakers on the measure’s behalf.
Backers of gay marriage were dealt a setback earlier today when State Senator Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican, announced that he would not be in favor of repealing the state’s marriage laws. Some advocates have always assumed that since Golden represents the relatively LGBT-friendly confines of Brooklyn, he could be persuaded on the issue. He has, however, been staunchly opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage.
Regardless, Klein said that he still should agree to meet with his constituents to at least hear them out.
“He can’t just sit down for half-an-hour? What, you have so many better things to do?” Klein said. “He can get married. I can’t. I think that is worth talking about. Call me crazy.”
In response, Golden’s spokesman John Quaglione sent along the following:
“Senator Marty Golden and his staff has met in Albany to discuss LGBT issues numerous times with various organizations as recently as last week. At this time, Senator Golden has made his views clear, and due to the limited time on his schedule, he is unable to schedule an additional meeting on an issue at this time.”