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.
Oh, if only having a gay best friend or gay family members or loving a popular singer/actress were enough to stop people from being homophobic there would be no homophobes. Seriously, I have been out for 12 years and in that time my father and my mother still stayed homophobic. My dad’s entirely family (except my aunt who married into it) still remains homophobic. My uncle on my mom’s side was career Navy and is still intensely homophobic. All these people are nice to me, but they just don’t want to hear about my life. My brother was intensely homophobic for a very long time after I came out, and then he just sort of changed his views.
@galefan2004: Hell, I’m also best friends with a homophobic (possible closet case) guy that I met in college. I’m not going to end the friendship simply because he is less than accepting of gays. I understand where he is coming from, and I just don’t mention my homosexuality around him.
But Diaz is using religion to make/not make secular law. That in itself is illegal. Not everyone is of his faith much less his chosen religion (yes, they are two different things). What would he do, how would he react if someone of another faith/religion were making law affecting his right to practice his beliefs, live his life, determine if his own marriage should be allowed? Yes, thought so. He’d be bitching to high heaven. There is a reason for seperation of church and state and this situation is a blatant reminder of it’s need.
For the record, I am Christian, but it cannot be allowed to infringe on someone else’s rights. This is about equality and those in a position of voting/law making power must not be allowed to implement only with their viewpoint.
If a Ku Klux Klan member happens to like Mexican food that doesn’t make him any less of a racist. Sen Diaz can have all the gay friends he wants, but if he deep down believes that they are second class citizens then he is a bigot.
Calefan2004, well stated.
I’ve seen more attractive heads on boils! Wheew is Mr. Diaz ugly.
I had a dearone in Central America. He was murdered over 10 years ago. I had known him 14 years. He had been a sometimes guest at my parents and my sisters home. Everyone pretended he was just another guest. Hearing the horrible news of my lovedones death, my Dad sent me a airplane ticket to come home and visit. After I arrived nobody discussed his DEATH. It´s as if his MURDER hadn´t taken place. If such a horrible/unthinkable tragedy had occured to my sisters husband, well, my sister would have been rolling in the aisles (of her Fundie Church)…Diaz is selective about his beliving and perceiving…obviously, he has a little ¨void¨ when it comes to the REALITY and need for compassion and ¨well being¨ in the lives of his brothers…he´s more worried about ¨how he looks¨…afterall, he´s a minister in a religion that enthusiastically instigates ¨witch hunts¨ and ¨pogroms¨ against LGBT Christians in Uganda (currently).
“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.”
Yeah, but ask him why he doesn’t want gays to get married and he’ll probably spit out some diatribe about incest, pedophilia and polygamy. But you don’t want to actually discuss it in depth with him cause then you might get your feelings hurt, you fucking Uncle Tom.
@galefan2004, true, ditto for a great number of both sides family of mine…
Lots of guys are like that. They like the gays to not have social constructs for their relationships and then they can say that gays don’t have stable relationships. Kind of funny. And there are LOTS of gay people who aren’t into marriage either– which is FINE. It’s not about marriage, it;s about equality.
@galefan2004: WHAT? you are best friends with a homophobe? I will keep that well in mind when evaluating any future comments from you. Where is your self respect?
The news says more about the gays than Ruben.
There are four people who have known about Ruben Diaz and his two gay brothers and who knows what else; they could have and should have, instead they played see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
“Uncle Tom.” Absolutely.
@Fitz: What? You never lived in a small town where you don’t see gay men ever?
Seriously, do you honestly believe that I’m the only one that lives in a small town that chooses to have somewhat religious homophobic friends over having absolutely no friends at all. We can’t all go to the local bar and meet up with the local gays. It just doesn’t work for all of us like that. However, even if I was in a larger city I would still be friends with this guy. Other than his stance on homosexuals (which he never actually espouses) he is truly a great guy. He has been very good to me. I can look past his ignorance and realize that I’m never going to be able to change it.
My self-respect is just fine. I would be more worried about yours if you honestly think that you can’t respect yourself and have friends that disagree with you. Good luck with finding friends that agree with you on every single issue.
@galefan2004: Whatever, friend of a homophobe.
@Fitz: I’m proud of the friends I have. I’m also to proud to justify myself to you. Think whatever you want.
I think Diaz is a closet case. it must run in his family! that’s why he is against it. He doesn’t want to be gay so he fights and fights for marriage to not happen. You have 2 gay bro’s you should want to see them happy and be able to marry. If he was my brother we would not be talking! It’s immoral to cheat on your spouse, have sex before married, and not be a virgin before you are married. All which one of the counsel members have broken. We don’t see people saying oh they are not fit for the job because the bible said those things!
@I pliss: you said “I think Diaz is a closet case. it must run in his family! that’s why he is against it. ”
You make a good point, I’ve come to the conclusion that anybody who is virulently against gay marriage seems to always turn out to be either a closet case or is cheating on their spouse or has some other sleazy marital card up their sleeve (Hello John Ensign, LArry Craig, Senitor Vitter, etc…)
Diaz apparently has threatened to defect to the republicans today if the marriage bill comes up for a vote. We need at least 32 to get it passed and with the majority back in session. If there are too many absentees, it could nullify the bill even if its passed which I doubt. Hope I’m pleasantly surprised.
I have long given up on my siblings. My father taught them their homophobia very well. My older brother (the VP of finance for NYU) was very rude when I introduced my partner to him. He and I have been together longer than he has been married!
I am blessed, however, in that my partner’s family has told me – “You’re family. You’re stuck with us.” They have gone on to prove that they walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
Diaz loves this. Drama queen.
Diaz has been against every piece of human rights legislation for as long as I can remember – and I am old. This twisted professional homophobe did not just find his voice over the marriage issued.
As one of the token gays who made hay during the Giuiliani administration, I’m not surprised Lynn would say nice things about sleazeball Diaz.
@galefan2004: I am 66 years old. Been “gay” since I saw my 1st cowboy kiss a cowgirl, and wanted to be the cowboy. I HAVE NEVER MET A STRAIGHT HOMOPHOBE.
@galefan2004: “I understand where he is coming from, and I just don’t mention my homosexuality around him.”
So much for outreach.
I thought we were encouraging people who are out to talk to people so they enlighten them as to our situation. I don’t know if I could be best friends with anyone not 100% accepting of me, and I’m talking BEST FRIENDS here, meaning the go-to person you share everything about your life with. If I had to filter parts of my life before I confided in a friend, I don’t know if they’d qualify for the BFF status.
I have tons of friends I disagree with but I couldn’t call them a friend if they abhor a part of me that makes me well, me.
Sorry I have to agree with Fitz here. ;(
David In Arizona
@edgyguy1426. Ditto on calling someone a friend who abhors a part of my core being. I haven’t lived (and survived) 60 years of discrimination, bigotry, attempted violence and sociatal rejection just to have a “friend” add his or her 2 cents to the mix. Don’t accept me? Fuck you. Sure, I’m happy to talk with people about equality and their own homophobia issues. But they own the homophobia. Not me. I’ll never apologize, feel uncomfortable or less a person due to their “comfort issue” with LGBT equality. They can do like everyone else; get informed, get educated. But get the fuck out of my way because I have no time for intolerance. Not now, not ever.
You know, it’s been a few hours since I wrote those comments slamming Galefan, above. I regret my hard words.. I am sure you are doing the best you can with the cards you have– I do wish that you had some gay positive friends.
Wow….the level of self-loathing it must take to be “best friends” with a homophobe is just stunning to me.
@afrolito: That is what I thought too, and at first I was very very critical about it, but imagine how it must feel to be there. Sad. I honestly hope that he gets better friends, and learns the righteous dignity that comes with that level of self respect.
It’s kind of funny that these anti-gay politicians who have gay relatives whose lives they actively work to harm,have the balls to portray themselves as “pro family values”. (That includes Sally Kern; I’ve seen her picture and I’m not convinced she isn’t a man).
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