If there is only one person you want to blame for New York not legalizing gay marriage, it is State Sen. Ruben Diaz. The conservative legislator and Pentecostal minister from the South Bronx managed to get his fellow Democrats — who control the legislature — to put off a vote on gay marriage in order to get his support to elevate Sen. Malcolm Smith to majority leader. But Diaz wasn’t alone in denying gays and lesbians equal rights; much of the the party was complicit with the power grabbing agreement. (Diaz is one of the “Gang Of Three,” and the trio worked together, threatening to withhold support unless the gay marriage concession was made). Gov. David Paterson, a bigger person in so many ways, appears not to care much about semantics — and today is set to introduce a bill from his office to demand marriage equality. Which has Sen. Diaz running scared.
The conservative politico has called an emergency meeting of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization to figure out the “next steps to take” in response to Paterson’s “ridiculous” bill, reports the Daily News. Like most of Diaz’s rhetoric, he’s meshed his hate with religion, accusing Paterson of making the move just as New York welcomes brand new Archbishop Timothy Dolan (the “I don’t hate gays, just gay marriage” religious leader). Rallying his base, Diaz continues: “If I were Governor Paterson, I would abstain from going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the welcoming ceremony and to celebrate Mass.”
On Paterson’s end, he just wants the Senate to vote on the bill. His move, to introduce the legislation from his own office, took many by surprise, including Diaz. But putting it to a full Senate vote (assuming it gets through committee) will force every senator to indicate to the public whether they are for or against civil rights.