NY Senator Carl Kruger, Who Cast Anti-Gay NY Marriage Equality Vote, is Questioned About His Sexuality

Towleroad's Corey Johnson and former Senate Democratic staffer Allen Roskoff let Senator Carl Kruger have it at the state house yesterday. Elizabeth Benjamin at NY Daily News has the story:

Kruger 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."

Kruger, of course, was one of eight Democrats who voted "no" on the New York marriage equality bill yesterday.

NOTE: Corey will be appearing on Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius OutQ radio show this afternoon at 2:15.


  1. Pender says

    I can speak only for myself, but I am planning to spend a TON of money in the 2010 election cycle, on primaries or general elections — whichever is closer.

  2. Willig says

    Bibby, I respectfully disagree. Our so called friends need to feel our wrath on such matters, not just receive a slap on the wrist. There MUST be anger, otherwise, there is no incentive to take our community seriously. If Kruger is one of the ‘mos on the DL, then this vote is a call to out him, embarrass him, elect his opponent. We owe him nothing.

    I am very proud of Duane’s efforts not to say who betrayed him, because we are better than them, but I am also disappointed that he won’t name names. End effect, we now know who voted no, and they are owed nothing.

  3. Gregg says

    Anger is justified, but it should be directed productively, not wasted by throwing a childish tantrum. How do unsubstantiated accusations like these do anything but make it appear that being called “gay” is a bad thing?

  4. Ian says

    This is a very important issue in New York State that every Senator — for or against — ought to be speaking out on. The seven Democratic cowards (not counting the one pentecostal lunatic who did give a speech) in the NY State Senate need to know that we are angry. According to the votes they cast yesterday, we are just as well off with a Republican controlled legislature. They need to understand that we will no longer give them our support, and that we have nothing left to lose. Spineless politicians will only respond if they feel like their re-election is threatened; we need to be a bigger threat than the Catholic Church. Bravo Allen and Corey.

  5. Brian says

    I know Towleroad isn’t necessarily an objective media outlet, it presents news, information and entertainment through a lens of commentary and advocacy. Nonetheless, to have a regular Towleroad contributor behave in such a non-objective and unprofessional way tarnishes the image of the site and may well diminish your ability to get decent interviews in the future.

    Corey certainly has the right to pursue whatever forms of advocacy he wants as a private citizen. However as a reader of this site, I would prefer he behave differently when he is acting as a reporter for the site.

  6. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    BRAVO Corey and Allen!!!!

    And FUCK YOU “Bibby” and “Feral” and the Pansy Pollyanna coin-operated horseys you rode in on!

    Ya think this is about being “nice”…have you been in a coma for the last nine years…HELL, the last 40 years?

    Polarizing? Bitches, that ship sailed long ago! And we just saw again in Maine what responding to homohatred with fucking limp dick gay Hallmark Card commercials does: NOTHING to stop their nuclear attacks of lies and hatred and raping us of our civil rights in the name of Jeebus!

    As the late, great Michael Callen’s song goes:

    “These are our lives we’re fighting for!”

    The only criticism I have is that New Yorkers shouldn’t be wasting their time protesting in Times Square or Union Square but in front of the homes of people like Kruger and Diaz et al. Cameras will follow you there for sure so you’ll reach just as many people via TV news as in public assembly/touristy spaces which are not related to your betrayal.

  7. says

    “BRAVO Corey and Allen!!!!

    And FUCK YOU “Bibby” and “Feral” and the Pansy Pollyanna coin-operated horseys you rode in on!”

    SING OUT LOUISE!!!!!!!!

    There are so many closeted Republicans we tend to forget about closeted Democracts.


  8. BGKev says

    Who says the allegations are unsubstantiated? Maybe these guys know firsthand.
    The reporter chose not to follow up on them<>unsubstantiated. An “does not talk about his personal life” is code for “is gay.” No straight person ever says that.

  9. brian says

    I think the large majority of us have spent some time in the closet as a result of fear. In circumstances where we have to fight for our rights, to stand up for ourselves, we fall into the fear trap and begin relying on diplomacy and decorous behavior.
    It is time for this all to come to a screeching halt, we must invoke Churchill and stand up for ourselves in our workplaces, our neighborhoods, our churches and our families. How many would vote against our rights if that vote had a name and a face attached of someone they knew/respected/loved?

  10. says

    Roskoff and Johnson ARE RIGHT to do what they did and I applaud them.


    It hasn’t worked in thge Past, its not working in the Present, and its HIGHLY Doubtful it will work in the future.

    You know its okay to be ANGRY and its okay to FIGHT, And we need to start doing that. Not only calling out the hypocrites and closet cases but also we need to stop spending our money in places that will not give us our rights. Gay Money to only Gay Friendly States, places and businesses.

    Instead of going to Fire Island, The Hamptons, or Ouguanit Maine. Go to Provicetown.

    Like to ski. Skip Utah and go to Vermont. Or Canada.

    We need to grow somer balls. Tell it like it is and ONLY support those who support us.

  11. niles says

    Oh, let’s not get angry and offend folks even though they consider you second class citizens and vote to keep you in your place. F this “Gang of 8″ and their sanctimonious, lying, hypocritical and disgusting ways. Sometimes bitterness and spite is all you have left – I say get the claws out.

  12. says

    A little history lesson. Rep. Jim Kolbe, a Republican from Arizona, was known in the lcoal gay community in Tucson as a closeted homosexual. But everyone kept quiet and didn’t say anything. And he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. Afterwards, the Advocate announced they were outing him. He came out then, and was very pro-gay the rest of the time he was in Congress.

    Closeted politicians, especially those that vote against gay rights, must be exposed. I hope that if Kruger runs again that people show up at every campaign event and publically ask him, ‘Are you gay?” Even if he isn’t, he needs to be defeated.

  13. TANK says

    I’m really disgusted by the lack of outrage over this vote that I see. Sure, there’s some passion, but who ever capitulated due to the threat of a march or protest? What else ya got?

    And the useless faggots who criticize actions like this are the same self loathing losers who would be (and perhaps are) closeted if gay rights were to progress in their desired way. Of course, every oppressed minority group has its share of those who’ve internalized the oppression, and have become part of the problem…just we’ve got a TON of them.

  14. peterparker says

    Who are these shrinking violets named ‘Bibby’, ‘Feral’, ‘DaftpunkyDavid’, ‘BryanD’, ‘Gregg’ and ‘Brian’?! Yeah, right, fellas…as if nicely asking Kruger and ilk to support our equality is going to get us anywhere. These bigots need to be called out in the harshest language possible. If pollyannas like you can’t direct your anger at those who deserve it then at least get the hell out of the way so the rest of us can do your job for you!

    To Allen Ruskoff and Corey Johnson: good work, MEN! My only regret is that I was not there to join you in calling out Kruger as a closet case.

  15. Esther Blodgett says

    Kruger is a slob and a hack.

    However, he a very well-heeled slob and hack. His campaign chest has a huge amount of money because he is chair of some NYS Senate committee. Finance perhaps.

    There is probably some dirty laundry in there someplace. There always is. But even if some corruption is found, it will not prevent this joke Kruger from running or being seated.

  16. Tralfaz says

    The more I read about this asshole the more pissed I’m getting.

    Fucker is like Ed Koch. Closeted and a back stabber.

    Oh and to Miss Bibby and her fellow gentle ladies who lunch … piss off.

  17. BillyBoy says

    Maybe there’s a way to communicate one’s wrath without screaming. And it can have more impact.

    This makes it harder for Roskoff and Johnson to be taken seriously as advocates and lobbyists. That can’t be helpful.

    Some people can even express anger without saying FUCK YOU.

    Think relationships. Lobbying is all about relationships and the next vote. I mean the NEXT VOTE.

  18. bobbyjoe says

    Yeah, please be all nice and sweet and polite so they’ll take you seriously. You know, like they did when they voted not to give you your rights. After all that nice, sweet polite debate where folks like Tom Duane begged and begged nicely and politely for their rights.

    They took you real serious then.

    Or how about all those nice, sweet, polite commercials in Maine? Here’s a nice, sweet, polite lesbian couple and their child… may we have our rights please now? Pretty please?

    Yeah, they took you real seriously then, didn’t they?

    You know what? Nice, sweet, polite doesn’t work. We keep seeing that, and unless we want to be the very definition of insanity in doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, it’s time to change the ballgame.

    Maybe some of us can still play the nice, sweet, polite card and continue to “lobby.” But for God’s sake, let’s stop being naive. If that’s all there was to politics, we’d live in a perfect world of sunshine and unicorns, instead of a country where some pretty awful people keep getting exactly what they want each and every time while a lot of good folks have to keep suffering. Part of the game isn’t just sweetness and nice, it’s also TEETH. Some people come to good on their own, but not that many. Human history ought to have taught a lot of you that by now, and if not, you’re either living in fantasyland or third grade. You have to show a lot of these folks a reason why if they don’t do the right thing there will be serious consequences. So there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bringing the TEETH along with that sugar and spice.

    They’ve made it quite clear to us that how politics plays right now is fear. That’s what works. So I call for MORE homophobia, not less. But I want ’em scared of gays for a real reason, not for some bigoted fantasy. I want ’em scared that any time they try and launch some campaign against gays ’cause they think there aren’t going to be consequences, they instead get their fingers burned really, really badly.

    We have this power. We can make them afraid in the sense that we could– even once– I think it would only take one election and one sustained campaign in this direction to have a real effect– stop pouring our money into nice, sweet, polite ads and nice, sweet, polite, debate and start pouring money into constantly, publicly exposing the dirty laundry of politicians who work against us and institutions like the Mormons and the Catholic Church.

    We screw with their heads by, when they launch some sort of ballot initiative against us– not talking about gay rights at all. Instead we spend a campaign (and again I only think it would take once to scare the sh*t out of ’em) talking constantly just about THEM. Making ads about THEM. Writing editorials about THEM. Like: “here’s some facts about the Catholic church moving pedophile priests from town to town to try and cover up their crimes. Why isn’t there more of an investigation into this? Here’s an ad demanding one.” 24/7, that’s all we talk about and “debate,” a constant drumbeat. Let’s see how they like that for a change.

    They ALL have secrets and areas of their action and behavior they don’t want the public talking about. They’re not that hard to find. So what if, instead of begging for our rights, we start talking any time any kind of public venue is available– t.v., internet, print– about exactly what THEY don’t want us talking about? What if we do a little investigation and find out what will dramatically embarrass– if not ruin– them? I have no sympathy for these hateful creatures. They made their bed; I say we make them lie in it.

    Let’s start talking about those secrets and calling for investigations until every man, woman, and child in the country is discussing their morality– not ours– and they never, ever, ever want to try and come at us again because they know we’ll publicly WRECK them if they do. They like homophobia so much?

    Then why in God’s name aren’t we really giving ’em something to be afraid of?

  19. Jay says

    It is very important that we target the traitors who betrayed us and let them see that there is a cost to homophobia. Democrats do not seem to understand the meaning of coalition. They want gay votes and gay dollars, but they don’t want to be held accountable for their betrayal of gay citizens. I would rather have the Republicans power than Democrats who betray us. I will not be donating any money to the Democratic Party or to any other “umbrella group.” My political donations will go only to those candidates who have proven their commitment to gay rights and to challengers of those who have betrayed us.

  20. Syyklops says

    No one has a “right” to marry as far as the government is concerned. Marriage is a religious contract and shouldn’t be, nor should it ever have been, in any constitution, state or federal, so take it away from everyone. Separation of church and state. Everyone should be entitled to a civil union. Leave marriage to the churches. Problem solved

  21. walter says

    If kruger is gay some one out there knows for sure kruger would be perfect for a public outting in all forms of media time for the triators to pay with their jobs and personnell lives Please will the person who knows the truth step foward and let the community hang the traitor out to dry and to the next member of the shit eight comes lookinf for money send them away. and to the hrc how do explain this betrayal more we dont understand the working of politics bull shit just another shaft by out friendly local dems but don’t worry election is 11 months and they hope we will have forgotten by then.

  22. TimNYC says

    EXPOSE this closet case and every other closeted Politician who is so self-loathing that he/she would vote against Gay Rights.

    Way to go Corey. Don’t stop now. Keep the pressure on. Dig for more dirt on this scumbag. There has to be a lot of skeletons in his/her closet!

    Check out this link to Senator Kruger’s Birthday Party at Heaven a GAY BAR with the Gayest Entertainer EVER in tight spandex.


    No more MR.NICE GAY! The time for ACTION is NOW!

  23. SheQuon says

    Why would an allegedly closeted Democrat vote no when so many non-gay Democrats voted yes? I could see if he was a Republican, not wanting to go against the party’s majority. But he stood out more as a Democrat by voting No, right? So if by chance he is closeted, he must be VERY self-loathing.

  24. leftypower says

    I called Kruger’s office several times (among others) and politely told them my story and how their bigoted voting personally harms me and my gay family. I called Republicans and Democrats – being polite and decent and rational with all of them. They thanked me politely for my call.

    And voted to extend the legal discrimination against me and my family.

    We need to fight this as if we’re fighting for our lives. They’re messing with my family with their bigotry. I’ve asked nicely and if we can’t appeal to their absent sense of morality, we need to make their personal lives hell.

    We need to protest at Kruger’s home and at Diaz’ church.

    Those pigs impose their religious and personal hatred and fears on my family in a legal manner? I’m going to impose my legal right to free speech in their homes and churches.

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