2010-08-13 / Top Stories

Death Threats For Gay Marriage Vote

By Howard Schwach

State Senator Shirley Huntley at her recent press conference discussing the death threats that have been made over her opposition to the gay marriage bill. State Senator Shirley Huntley at her recent press conference discussing the death threats that have been made over her opposition to the gay marriage bill. State Senator Shirley Huntley, who represents Broad Channel in the Senate, reports that she has received a number of death threats, strange calls and threatening emails, all, she believes, because she was one of the few Democrats to vote against the gay marriage bill.

On Tuesday, she reports, flowers were reportedly placed on her Jamaica doorstep with a note that said “Rest in Peace.”

At a news conference earlier this week, many of Huntley’s Democratic colleagues, including Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, stood with Huntley at her Jamaica home.

The State Democratic Conference issued a statement, saying, “Standing in unity against personal attacks and threats, local and state elected officials will join Senator Shirley L. Huntley outside her home for a news conference to denounce the recent actions of unknown assailants who left a threatening and derogatory message for the senator. Supporters will express concern regarding the maliciousness behind these actions, and have a message of their own for all those involved, ‘enough is enough!’ “

Huntley’s primary rival in the 10th SD, Lynn Nunes, quickly released a statement.

“I stand with Senator Shirley Huntley and our community in expressing shock and outrage at recent events, and in agreement that there is no place in politics, government or campaigns for the malicious acts she has described. I look forward to continuing our spirited campaign to represent our neighborhoods and neighbors in the State Senate.”

Nunes favors the gay marriage bill and has been endorsed by a number of the state-wide LGBT groups.

In a recent interview with The Wave, Huntley spoke about the issues and the endorsement of her opponent by the pro gay marriage groups.

“I’m not surprised at all by their endorsement of my opponent,” Huntley said. “I don’t think, however, that [their endorsement] will mean anything in my district.

The people in Broad Channel and in most of my district support my view on gay marriage. It is an issue that is important to my constituents, and 62 percent of them said, in a poll I conducted prior to my vote, that they oppose gay marriage. I was sent to Albany to represent them, and that’s the way I voted.”

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