THE JIG IS UP

Juan Benitez’s Excellent TV Take Down Of Ruben Diaz

If you haven’t already thrown up your breakfast yet—gurl, what is wrong with you?—prepare for evacuation because Ruben “drag queen” Diaz is back the (ob)scene.

Tony Varona from Pam’s House Blend did everyone the courtesy of translating Diaz’s recent interview with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Politica, a political talk show on the Spanish channel. And while Diaz’s horrid talking points will make you wanna move your trashcan nearby, the interviewer’s constant challenges will make you wanna treat yourself to an extra helping of celebratory pancakes.

Here’s the part where the interviewer, Juan Manuel Benitez grills Diaz on his claim that marriage equality will imperil churches:

Benitez: This legislation does not affect your church. It is a civil issue. Why are you still opposed?

Sen. Diaz: That is not the case.

Benitez: Someone will force you to [solemnize same-sex marriages]?

Sen. Diaz: Yes. According to the bill as written, and in the future, yes. Churches will be forced.

Benitez: That is not true. Let us talk about facts. We are talking about civil marriage. No one will go to your church to have you marry them.

Sen. Diaz: Marriage is marriage.

Benitez: Civil marriage.

Sen. Diaz: Marriage is marriage. And the bill as written… the bill does not exclude… as it is written specifically… does not exclude either churches or ministers specifically. It does not say it in the bill.

Benitez: The bill refers only to civil marriage, never to religious marriage.

Sen. Diaz: Marriage refers only to marriage between man and woman.

Benitez: The bill refers only to civil marriage, not religious marriage. Do you really think same-sex couples would go to your church to get married… to have you marry them?

Sen. Diaz: Well, who knows? They would come to my church so that I would refuse to marry them, and so that they could sue me, and mount a discrimination case. To mount a case in favor of stripping my church of taxes [tax exempt status], just because I would not marry them. […]

Benitez: I don’t know if you have read the bill, but the bill specifically excludes churches and deals only with civil marriage, which is performed by civil authorities. It deals with civil marriage and not religious marriage.

Sen. Diaz: One of the other senators just said that he would prefer if they would include – so that specifically it would be clear – that it would not force ministers and churches…

Benitez: And if the bill included that more specific language – that the churches would be excluded and there would be no problem with discrimination by churches – would that mean that you would vote in favor of civil marriage equality?

Sen. Diaz: For me, no, I would vote no because […]it is against nature… and it just should not exist.

So first Diaz is against it because we’ll sue churches. But as soon as that’s not an issue, he’s against government-sanctioned, civil unions because granting licenses to committed couples is unnatural. Mmkay.

Here’s the part where Diaz claims that if a child dared to pray or read a bible in school that he would be thrown out (those schools in the Bronx must be pretty tough):

Benitez: Everyone is free, as you say, but you are denying the liberty of gay people to marry those whom they love.

Sen. Diaz: No, no I cannot pray in a school. I cannot read the word of God in a school. The teacher would throw me out. So there is no liberty. […] We are the ones who are being persecuted, and that Christians are persecuted. And that the Christian religion is persecuted when we cannot do the things that we want to do. We accept that. That’s fine. But don’t hate us. So don’t permit us to do those things… but why is it that these people… when one gets on something… oh ‘Hate!’

Benitez: So you are saying that that is not homophobia. That you are not a homophobe?

Sen. Diaz: Hate is what they do to me! With the threats they send me…

Benitez: So you do not accept the label of homophobe? You are not a homophobe?

Sen. Diaz: How can that be? How could that be? When I have relatives…

Make a note of that, people: it is impossible to be homophobic if you have any gay relatives—even a lesbian third cousin twice removed. Seeing as most families have at least one gay relative that makes approximately 100% of the US population NOT homophobic. Hooray! Equality achieved! Thank you Ruby Dee!

Lastly, here’s the part where Diaz completely sidesteps a question about historical equality movements to say, “How DARE Mayor Bloomberg compare gays to black and fat people! You have no idea how horribly oppressed fat people have been!!!”

Benitez: Senator, are you not concerned that in 10, 20, 30 years, when there are documentaries made on this subject – a subject that is now unstoppable with more and more nations and states recognizing same-sex marriage – that you will appear like those politicians in documentaries on the 1950s and 1960s who opposed civil rights? That you will appear to be like one of those [obstructionist] politicians in the history books?

Sen. Diaz: Firstly, Mayor Bloomberg and the people who dare to compare the suffering, the slavery, forcible deportations, the assaults suffered by the African-American community, from Africa – like they sold our relatives, brought them in ships, chained them together, sold them as slaves. People like Mayor Bloomberg who dare to compare all of that to the homosexual lifestyle disrespect and abuse the African-American community. The African-American community must not allow our suffering and past slavery to be used as a comparison to homosexual conduct. […] Second, the states that have civil [same-sex] marriage do not have it because the people have opted for it. In every state where the people have been given the right to vote [on marriage equality], including California, the people have rejected it. So what is it that happens? Well, there are millionaires like Bloomberg, who take their bundle of money and buy votes, leading the legislatures to impose same-sex marriage on the public.

Benitez: The end of legal racial segregation also was not put up to public vote. Those laws were federal dictates and orders direct from the presidency.

Sen. Diaz: Jews do not allow anyone to compare their suffering…

Benitez: But you will recognize that the gay community has had its own suffering…

Sen. Diaz: Like we Hispanics have suffered? Like Puerto Ricans have suffered? Like fat people have suffered? … In this world discrimination is massive. We Hispanics, we Puerto Ricans when we came to this country… and we still have it… but to compare that to Black slavery is disrespectful to the Black community.

You’re fooling yourself if you think that Diaz gives a flying fuck about sizeism (and if he does, it only because he’s getting hefty in his older age). No, he’s just glomming onto any group that might get outraged at having their struggles compared to AIDS-spreading, child-corrupting, anti-religious faggots.

The translator Mr. Varona suggests you read the entire interview just to hear Diaz squirm under Benitez’s excellent questioning:

Time and again I have seen how bilingual and bicultural politicians, religious leaders and other public figures make outrageously defamatory and inaccurate statements against the LGBT community in Spanish media that they would never get away with making in English-language broadcast and print interviews. Much of the time, the interviewer allows them to make whatever outlandish and homophobic or transphobic claims about us without any follow-up questions or challenge of any sort. Not so with Juan Manuel Benitez’s 21-minute interview of Sen. Diaz.

As a regular consumer of bilingual media, we wonder why Mr. Varona thinks that such homophobia gets a free pass in Spanish media Is it the cultural and religious influence or something else?