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:
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.