Brooklyn Rallies Against Anti-Gay Bigotry to Support Marriage Equality

06/07/2011 12:13 PM |
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More than 100 people gathered in a free-speech zone across the street from state senator Marty Golden’s Fifth Avenue office yesterday evening to protest his position on gay marriage. Golden not only doesn’t support the marriage-equality momentum moving through Albany, but he has also positioned himself as a leader in the fight against it, going so far as to introduce legislation that would end New York’s policy of recognizing gay marriages from other states, even though support for gay marriage among residents of New York state is at all-time highs.

The rally, co-sponsored by a slew of progressive and reformist Brooklyn Democratic groups, attracted many local lefty leaders, including Park Slope’s councilman, Brad Lander, former Golden opponent Mike DiSanto, and district leaders Joanne Seminara, Chris Owens, and Lincoln Restler.

“The man is an arch-conservative,” Restler said of Golden. “He’s got southern Brooklyn confused with the deep South.”

Golden recently told the Post that his constituents “don’t really give a rat’s ass about social issues,” and the rally was treated both as an offer to Golden to change his mind about the issue—both Lander and Restler promised not to support a Democratic challenger in the next election if Golden supported marriage equality now—but also as a chance for his electorate to show that they care deeply about marriage equality.

One popular sign was an illustration of a rodent sticking out his butt. “We do give a rat’s ass,” it read.

“It’s 2011 and you better wake up,” community board member Scott Klein directed toward Golden. “This neighborhood is not what you think it is. They’re not people who live in the past.”

The rally occupied roughly a third of the east side of Fifth Avenue, in front of Golden’s old office and across the street from his new one, which was closed and shuttered. (Many protesters voiced confusion about where it was.)

The owners of Robicelli’s, who have also started a “Small Business Owners for NY Marriage Equality” group on Facebook, attended with their two children. Allison held a homemade sign that read “Republicans for Equality”; her boy held one that read “I Love My Aunts.” “I’ve lost followers over this,” Allison told me, “but I don’t care.”

Though some in the crowd came from as far as Flushing to attend the rally, others came from as close as around the corner. Many were impressed not only by the turnout but also by the rally’s overwhelming positivity and progressivism in historically conservative Bay Ridge.

“This is a watershed moment for Bay Ridge,” said Justin Brannan, the president of Bay Ridge Democrats. “We’re a part of history right now.”

While some measure of homophobic backlash could reasonably have been expected, filmmaker Mike “Bay Rizz” Rizzo, who conducted several man-on-the-street interviews during the event, told me the reaction he’d experienced had all been positive. “That lady there,” he said, gesturing toward an elderly woman eating a 99-cent bag of Utz, “she cursed out Marty Golden left and right.” (Soon after he told me this, a scratchy voiced woman shouted “Marty Golden’s gay!” from a window overlooking the avenue.)

“It’s great to see this side of Bay Ridge,” Sarah Brown, a local resident, said, “and not just the ‘Steve’s Bagels’ side.” Passing cars sporadically honked in support, including one Mr. Softee truck. Even a fortysomething cop out of contemporary central casting, with a shaved head and mustache, was overheard telling a member of the crowd, “I don’t care. Love is love.”

“The times are changing,” Seminara, who is also the chair of the local community board, told me.

But one activist told me the neighborhood’s conservatism has been waning for a while. He cited an anti-war march we’d both attended back in the Bush years, in which a similar number of people who were here had walked down Third Avenue, the area’s major commercial strip, from one side of the neighborhood to former congressman Vito Fossella‘s old office near 86th Street on the other. Just two weeks ago, in fact, there’d been a UFT rally.

“Where?” I asked him.
“Right here,” he said, in front of Golden’s office.
“Ah, I guess this is the prime spot.”
“He’s a jerk for all seasons.”

10 Comment

  • where was christine quinn???

  • for what it’s worth, a representative of Christine Quinn’s office was there. “She asked me to come here specifically,” he said, “because she couldn’t make it.”

  • Golden appreciates the evidence!

    The truth … and the difference … lies in the evidence and the detail! Kathleen Melonakos asks a disturbing question of Governor Cuomo, Mayyor Bloonberg and others, but gets no answers for her trouble:”Why Isn’t Homosexuality Considered a Disorder on the Basis of Its Medical Consequences? ( http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/l… )

    Robert Regier and Daniel Garcia point the obvious fallacy in gay-activist arguments in the online article ” Homosexuality Is Not a Civil Right” (http://www.crrange.com/wall34.html )

    The Law … and the people … in America have reached that critical decision-point where they must now confront … or succumb to … the public-policy implications of “gay activist” deception and … intimidation!

    Lawyer Roger J. Magnuson framed the issues 15 years ago:

    “… The political proposals advanced by an increasingly aggressive group of gay activists … merit and demand serious discussion and rational analysis. Unfortunately, gay rights proposals have often received neither. The seriousness of the issues has not been matched by a seriousness of analysis. There has been a curious inversion: a high level of public policy interest; a low level of public policy debate…” (Magnuson, p. 137; “Are Gay Rights Right? Making Sense of the Controversy!”)

    So let the law … but first the people … first assess the research-based evidence, and rebut the FRC’s article “Ten Arguments from Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage”.

    Thereafter let the law … but first the people … assess the evidence-based knowledge of the negative social-policy implications of “institutionalizing” a psycho-sexual/mental disorder through “marriage” by rebutting the articles “Was Cuomo Misled on Gay Marriage?” or “Is Cuomo Ignoring the Evidence Against Gay Marriage?”

    The bigger picture?

  • @Guest, homosexuality hasn’t been in the DSM for years, since psychologists realized that the mental anguish afflicting many gays wasn’t a result of their lifestyle, but of the discrimination and ostracization they face from people like you. Furthermore, there were plenty of people who made the same arguments against blacks and minorities in Jim Crow days, and women weren’t even considered competent enough to vote less than 100 years ago.
    On a side note, psychology has also demonstrated that many people with deeply held biases against gays harbor latent homosexual fantasies and desires. Maybe nobody is paying attention to those “studies” because they are quack science performed by bigoted charlatans.

  • @Jamsica: You should read Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s article “The Removal of Homosexuality from the Psychiatric Manual” ( http://www.catholicsocialscientists.org/CS… ). He is forced to come to the following conclusion, which is an astonishing indictment of the APA:

    “… All three great pioneers of psychiatry

  • @Guest, well when your kids are born gay, you can tell them it’s a mental disorder. What is wrong with you?

  • My partner’s new book, “Prejudice to Pride”, is being published now and should be in print by Oct. of this year. In it she lists the reasons homophobia and other forms of hatred should be listed in the DSM. It is not the LGBT community that is sick but the people who continue to harass and discriminate against them. This teaching of hate against us in our schools and by our religious leaders causes my community to have to deal with their bias on so many levels. Hate is wrong. Love is the answer. Wise up people. We are born this way and we will always be here. There is no choice in the matter except how others accept us or not.

  • @Jamsica; FOCUS! FOCUS! … on the evidence!

    So let the law … but first the people … first assess the research-based evidence, and rebut the FRC’s article “Ten Arguments from Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage”.

    Thereafter let the law … but first the people … assess the evidence-based knowledge of the negative social-policy implications of “institutionalizing” a psycho-sexual/mental disorder through “marriage” by rebutting the articles “Was Cuomo Misled on Gay Marriage?” or “Is Cuomo Ignoring the Evidence Against Gay Marriage?”

    The bigger picture?

  • @Guest2011
    FOCUS! FOCUS! … on the evidence! That the long-haired ghost-son of a giant sky man came down to earth and told gay people they’re doing it wrong. Now THERE’S evidence.

    Also, defending the faith AND defending some kind of “national ethos”? You sound both scary and stupid.

  • @JonnyDiamond … The truth … lies in the evidence and the detail!

    Focus, people, focus! Is Cuomo Ignoring the Evidence Against Gay Marriage???

    Why???

    Robert Regier and Daniel Garcia’s “Homosexuality Is Not a Civil Right!” addresses … in detail … the “civil rights” and public-policy issues gay activists ignore!

    Kathleen Melonakos addresses the stunning medical issues that make the issue of institutionalizing “gay marriage” a non-starter in the online article “Why Isn’t Homosexuality Considered a Disorder on the Basis of its Medical Consequences?”.

    Dr. Judith Reisman points to equally stunning Police and “abuse” issues in the “Hiding Dirty Laundry” section of the 2002 law-review “Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth”.

    Gay activism offers no answers but “… denial so intense that self-examination is entirely precluded …” after Dr. Jeffrey Satinover (“Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth”).

    Why is Cuomo ignoring the evidence? Is THAT good public policy?