Conventional wisdom for years was that the Republican majority in the New York state senate was all that stood in the way of marriage equality in that state. And Democrats used that hunch—and more than $1 million from gay political action groups—to win control of the body in 2008 for the first time in four decades. That’s why it came as such a surprise in December when eight Democrats joined 30 Republicans to kill a marriage bill in the state senate. Now conventional wisdom is that these eight senators (listed here, clockwise from top left) will face a hell of a fight in their bids for reelection come November.
Carl Kruger—Days after the vote, Kruger found protesters outside his Brooklyn home. The bachelor, whose sexual orientation (he says he’s straight) is often questioned, says he voted against the bill after scores of antimarriage constituents reached out to him. He reportedly has $2 million in his reelection war chest.
Hiram Monserrate—The Empire State Pride Agenda has already vowed to oust Monserrate, who reneged on his promise to endorse marriage equality. But New York gays may be denied the pleasure of seeing him voted out of office—a state senate committee is considering his expulsion after his recent conviction for assaulting his girlfriend by dragging her through his apartment building’s lobby in 2008.
Joe Addabbo—Though marriage advocates helped get this former city councilman from Queens elected in 2008, Addabbo insists he never promised to vote for marriage equality. His gay donors will undoubtedly feel less supportive this fall.
Shirley Huntley—Despite direct appeals from Maya Angelou, the senator says her vote reflects the wishes of her south Queens constituents and that New Yorkers should vote on marriage in a statewide referendum, perhaps when they decide her political fate in November.
George Onorato—The north Queens senator and octogenarian never said he would support marriage equality. Instead he said he wouldn’t “take any action to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote.”
William Stachowski—Though he never promised to support marriage equality, the longtime Buffalo politician already has a gay-led campaign against him building; a Facebook page titled “Stop Stachowski” was launched the day of the marriage vote, and as of mid December it had more than 650 members.
Ruben Diaz Sr.—Diaz’s gay support has always been close to nil, thanks to the Bronx minister’s consistent hostility toward gay people. Diaz scolded a fellow state senator during the marriage vote, saying, “You should carry your Bible all the time.”
Darrel Aubertine—Representing New York’s North Country, part of which abuts Canada, Aubertine is a Democrat representing a mostly Republican region. Because it was never assumed Aubertine would vote for marriage equality, he’s been spared much of the gay ire.