Republican State Senator Martin Golden is considered by many to be Mayor Bloomberg’s closest ally in the New York Senate. The two politicians make regular appearances together, Golden had even backed Bloomberg in his controversial third term race for mayor. Bloomberg in turn spent a large sum of money, according to the New York Post, “$900,000 from his vast personal fortune to help Republicans win back the Senate last year.” The Mayor was in Albany last week urging those same “GOP senators to get on ‘the right side of history’ by approving the marriage bill” that would legalize same-sex marriage in New York State. But that didn’t stop Golden from introducing legislation during the same week that could potentially take away rights currently enjoyed by married homosexual couples in New York.
Golden’s legislation, called the Defense of Marriage Act, would void former Governor Paterson’s executive order to recognize marriages performed in states where same-sex marriage is legal. Supporters of Paterson’s order, such as Kip from Bay Ridge Journal, argue that it is in compliance with U.S. Constitutional law concerning full faith and credit between states. When asked about Golden’s proposed bill, Bloomberg’s press secretary Mark Botnick told the Post ” we oppose the legislation and the chance it becomes law are zero.” The anti- same-sex marriage statute could potentially drive a wedge between fiscal conservatives who support gay marriage and the social conservatives who dominate upstate New York’s GOP.
The question of whether Golden’s stance on same-sex marriage is part of some kind of personal crusade or if it’s merely him playing politics with his senate colleagues is unclear but certain facts seem to suggest his motives are less than sincere. When asked, Golden had told reporters that his constituents “don’t give a rat’s ass about social issues” which, according to the Senator, they see as taking attention away from more important economic concerns. Bay Ridge Journal’s Kip thinks Golden’s actions have more to do with his “dependence upon the political support of Mike Long,” the head of the state’s Conservative Party who hails from Golden’s district in Bay Ridge, for the retention of his Senate seat than with any strongly held beliefs or pressure from constituents. That might explain why Golden would oddly choose to spend so much time on an issue that his portion of the electorate, by the Senator’s own admission, doesn’t consider a top priority.