As the session in Albany comes down to the wire and the bill to legalize gay marriage comes closer to passing than ever before, State Senator Marty Golden, an anti-marriage equality Republican who represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and beyond, sat down with news show Capitol Tonight to discuss gay marriage (and many other topics). Though in the past Golden has said “we’re not going to do this”—gay marriage—”to our children! We’re not going to do this to the future of our city, our state, our nation, and we cannot allow it,” in this new video he clarifies his position: the matter should be left to a state referendum—as of course should the basic civil rights of all oppressed minorities—because otherwise Catholic social networks might not be able to care for the needy.
[Cuomo’s office] just sent out an email appeal from his government email address asking New Yorkers to help him, to contact you and your fellow colleagues, to lobby you on gay marriage.
I still believe that that’s a very fluid issue. I believe that, personally, it shouldn’t be done, here in the state of New York, and I believe that if we’re going to do something as large and as big as marriage equality, it should be done by the voters in the state of New York as a referendum. This is not changing the constitution. We can have this on a referendum this November and let the 19.5 million people that live in the state of New York vote for, in a referendum for gay marriage if they decide to do so. That’s my belief, and that’s the way a lot of my colleagues believe.
But enough of your colleagues such that this doesn’t come to the floor? Because it seems like there’s an air of inevitability around. Even some of the opponents suggest that the reason they’re pushing so hard for these exceptions is because they feel like they need to get protection on the way in because there seems like there is going to be a vote, and if there is a vote, it would pass.
Well there’s going to be a number of issues that are going to affect not only our Catholic schools and churches, our social networks within the Catholic and Jewish networks and the Muslim networks, there has to be some guarantees that these social networks will be able to continue doing social services and making sure they can take care of the neediest here in the state of New York, being able to provide a good education, being able to make sure that their churches and their institutions survive.
And there are a lot of opponents, obviously, singing, there are a lot of protesters. You’ve been here for a while. You’ve seen this before.
I’ve seen it before, but not to this level. I mean, this is an issue that we really are taking on here, and I don’t know that we should as 212 legislators be making this decision in the State of New York.
Well, other states have done it.
I believe a referendum can be done. It should have been done. And let the people of the state of New York make that decision. And we can do that this November. There’s no constitutional amendment here. We don’t need to put it off for two years. The people of the state of New York and the advocates for gay marriage need to have that conclusively decided by the voter here in November, and that’s the right way of doing this.