I was very interested to attend a special meeting of Community Board 10 Traffic and Transportation Committee where Sen. Marty Golden (R– Bay Ridge) proposed creating a pedestrian mall on Friday nights in the summer on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge. His arguments were that Bay Ridge could be more like Park Slope or Williamsburg as the neighborhood could attract restaurant-goers and shoppers from outside the neighborhood.
At the same meeting, I asked why he would not meet with constituents about marriage equality and how he could introduce legislation which denies recognition to lesbian and gay couples married outside New York. The contradiction could not be more apparent.
Park Slope and Williamsburg attract people because they are open to diversity and respecting people’s differences while Marty Golden is not. Even after the bill passed, he publicly towed the Conservative party and Archdiocese’s position that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry would lead to end of civilization as we know it. A trip to Massachusetts will prove the contrary.
The joy of living in Brooklyn is celebrating diversity and treating others with respect. As someone who was one half of one of the first public commitment ceremonies between two gay men in the Picnic House in Prospect Park, I celebrate the legislature’s passage of the bill to create marriage equality and applaud the governor’s resolve. We can all be equal in how we are treated under the law; that is truly something to celebrate. It is disturbing that Sen. Golden is still filled with hatred for what he doesn’t understand and continues to engage in the politics of division. I am sorry he can’t join in the celebration.
Scott Klein is a member of Community Board 10 in Bay Ridge.