As Albany refuses to get its shit together with the Democrats and Republicans taking turns calling each other names and locking each other out of the State Senate chambers (yes, really) comes Gov. David Paterson demanding legislators try again today for a special session. And what’s this? At the top of his list of to-do items? Same-sex marriage! Elizabeth Benjamin:
Considering the disaster that was yesterday’s extraordinary session, it’s unclear what motivated Gov. David Paterson to call for a do-over today and then up the ante by putting his bill to legalize same-sex marriage at the top of the agenda.
Not unexpectedly, the move worsened an already bad situation (as if things could really get any worse in Albany).
It caused Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. to jump into the open arms of the Republicans – albeit, he claims, just for a little sandwich break – which so worried Sen. Carl Kruger as to the status of his post as Finance Committee chairman that he just HAD to come over and see what was going on.
Diaz Sr. soon returned to the Democratic fold after receiving what Senate sources insist was a pledge from Sen. Malcolm Smith (remember him?) that the marriage bill would never see the light of day.
Now the Senate Democrats are warring with Paterson over whether he sent yesterday’s bills up to the chamber in a timely fashion and if those bills were legal.
It’s unclear if they’ll even show up for today’s extraordinary session, much less vote on anything.
You’ve got to believe that Paterson knew darn well that trying to force the gay marriage issue would send Diaz Sr. over the edge; it’s not as if the senator has been keeping his opposition to the measure a secret.
But with the vile Sen. Diaz still playing parlor tricks, it’s interesting to learn this bit of shocking news: he’s got two gay brothers, a gay best friend, and loves him some Liza Minnelli. But just who might his gay best friend me?
Christopher Lynn, “a former top Giuliani aide and founding member of the gay and lesbian Stonewall Democratic Club in New York City,” says NY Mag. And Lynn, despite being a big homosexual, is also Diaz’s biggest defender: “It’s a moral issue to Diaz. He’s not saying, ‘I castigate your lifestyle.’ He doesn’t say people who are opposed to him are sinners. He refuses to vote for something that he feels would imperil his soul.”
Meanwhile, does the having two gay brothers thing let Diaz off the hook for his anti-marriage stance? He thinks so: “I’m not homophobic. I have a problem with gay marriage. I have no problem with gays.”
Not homophobic? This is a guy who said, after Gov. Paterson pushed for same-sex marriage legislation, “If I were Governor Paterson, I would abstain from going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the welcoming ceremony and to celebrate Mass.” Indeed, like most “but I have gay friends!” self-proclaimed non-bigots, Diaz turns to religion to defend his position. Christmas dinner must be awk-ward.