After we urged readers to contact State Senator Marty Golden in opposition to his proposal to roll back same-sex marriage rights in New York State, at least one reader (and Golden constituent) did – and got a response from the local Republican politician.
Thank you for your recent communication regarding my position on the same sex marriage issue. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.
Few issues are as deeply divided as same sex marriage. I apologize that you feel I’ve let you down. My position is not intended to be discriminatory at all, it is just my personal belief and standing that I cannot support the proposal. While you may not agree, I believe that this issue does come at a time when, in my opinion, our state needs to be uniting to meet challenges, including the faltering economy and growing budgetary concerns. Having said that, I also believe that this matter may be one that is best left to the voters themselves on a statewide ballot, rather than being legislated.
I do try to fairly represent my constituents on all issues, though sometimes a very divided consensus makes it a tough task, and it is frustrating for me personally, and as a legislator. I will continue to do my best to try and represent your interests in the future.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
The reader told Sheepshead Bites that he was both surprised and pleased to receive such a polite response from Golden, and we agree. We certainly don’t have it out for the pol, though we vigorously disagree with his stance on this issue.
That said, this letter is lacking a few things. I’m glad to see Golden defending his position on gay marriage, and saying that it best be left to voters to decide – though, personally, I’m against the majority being allowed to determine the rights of a minority (Can you imagine if desegregation was left to a ballot measure?). I’m also surprised to see no mention of the bill Golden is pushing to cease recognition of same-sex marriages from other states – the spark which compelled our readers to write to the pol. And I find it contradictory to say, at once, that it should be left to voters while he is also pushing such a bill to roll back what little rights there are.
Though Golden said his position is not intended to be discriminatory, at the end of the day, it still is. To not actively seek full and equal rights for gay partners is one thing (which history will judge) – to try to tear away what little recourse gay partners have, and to do so unprovoked, is a malicious injustice purposely targeted at a small percentage of the state’s residents.
Golden’s district – a gerrymandered jigsaw puzzle cobbling together Brooklyn’s most conservative neighborhoods – is likely to stand behind the state senator on this issue. But real leadership means potentially sacrificing votes to do that which is right, morally just, and in keeping with the American spirit of equality and freedom.
Golden needs to be a leader and get on the right side of history.