We know how that turned out. After the vote, Allen and Corey Johnson of Towleroad confronted Democratic Senator Carl Kruger over his “No” vote. The pair were described as a “buzzsaw” by New York Daily News’ Elizabeth Benjamin.
After voting “no” on the gay marriage bill yesterday, Sen. Carl Kruger exited the Senate chamber and walked straight into the buzzsaw that was Allen Roskoff and Corey Johnson.
The two outspoken gay advocates stunned onlookers by heckling the Brooklyn Democrat, publicly calling his sexuality into question and threatening to support a primary candidate against him in 2010.
I reached the duo, who arrived in Albany Tuesday night in time to see the Assembly pass the marriage bill for the third time since 2007, as they were en route home to New York City. Roskoff proudly confirmed he and Johnson “told Carl off.”
“We screamed at him,” Roskoff said, before launching into a litany of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the unmarried senator’s personal life.
“We really let him have it. We made it clear to him that he didn’t hear the end of it. Right outside the Senate chamber. He wouldn’t answer our questions.”
Witnesses said Kruger did not respond to Roskoff and Johnson. Kruger aide Jason Koppel said the senator “doesn’t talk about his personal life,” and deemed the allegations “not even worthy of comment.”
Roskoff, a former Senate Democratic staffer who is now president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, compared Kruger to Councilman Vincent Gentile, a former senator from Bay Ridge who has faced questions about his sexuality and was accused of sexual harassment in 2004 by his male chief of staff. Gentile has insisted he is not gay.
Roskoff and Johnson were particularly angered by the fact that Kruger voted “yes” on the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in 2002 (a measure Gentile voted against, sparking the wrath of gay groups that supported him), but refused to support marriage.
Johnson said he threatened Kruger that the gay community would support Councilman Lew Fidler in a primary challenge against him next fall, telling me: “Lew is a hero in the community. People are going to be looking for challengers, and he’s someone we could really get behind.”
Allen wrote to me about what happened:
Immediately following the devastating vote on marriage equality Bachelor Senator Carl Kruger walked out of the Senate Chamber with a huge smirk on his face. The Bachelor was courting the press. Corey Johnson and I asked him in extremely loud voices how he, a bachelor, could vote to deprive same sex couples the right to marry?
We then shouted at him and asked him if the rumors about his being gay were true. “Are you a closet case Senator” we shouted over and over again. “For years, we hear that you are gay, what’s the word Bachelor Senator?” and “Is it true that you are one half the gay caucus of the State Senate, Bachelor
Senator Kruger?” and “Why won’t you tell us whether or not you are gay Bachelor Senator?” And so it went.
Kruger proceeded to crawl into a corner and you could see the sweat on his forehead amass. Yes, Bachelor Senator Carl Kruger was profusely sweating. And we knocked the smirky smile off the Bachelor Senator’s face. Bachelor Senator Carl Kruger will forever regret his voting against marriage equality.