NY Sen. Diaz Still Clinging to Religion to Fight Gov. Paterson on Gay Marriage


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.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #davidpaterson #marriage #newyork stories and more


  • BillyBob Thornton

    Someone needs to remind Senator Diaz, the same religion he uses to explain his anti gay agenda, is the same religion that used to prohibit mixed marriages. Using the same bible to support their stance.

  • BillyBob Thornton

    Here is a copy of what I just emailed to Senator Diaz:

    Senator Diaz,

    I write this letter because I read where you are opposed to same sex marriage based upon your religion. I’d like to remind you of a few things.

    1) The separation of church and state is not a flexible issue. Your religion doesn’t believe in it, fine. But marriage is a CIVIL institution, not a religious one. It was long before religion made it part of their culture.

    2) The very same bible you use to back your belief against gay marriage, was also used to denigrate, discriminate and otherwise oppress the members of your race. INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO MARRY WHITES.

    Please consider these things when you contemplate your next move. Equal rights are not just for heterosexuals, nor are they for just christians. Marriage is a right that extends to everyone.

  • Alec

    What about junior? Do we know how he feels on this issue, and if he can speak out against his father’s position? Has anyone looked into this?

  • John Santos

    This guys really stretching out his 15 minutes. For the first time in his life, important people are paying attention to him and he obviously loves it. Canadian PM, Pierre Trudeau once called backbench MP’s, “nobodies fifty yards off Parliament Hill”. I’m seeing a nobody in Sen. Diaz.

  • RichardR

    I’m not a New Yorker, but I think we need to take Diaz down. Empire Staters, is it doable?

  • Hint

    My email to Senator Diaz is below. Personally, I think the financial argument will really be the best way to win over New Yorkers:

    “Dear Senator Diaz,
    I would like you to take a look at the financial implications of your opposition to gay marriage in New York. Please take into account the fact that New York recognizes all same-sex marriages performed in other states. Gay marriage essentially exists in New York already. However, New Yorkers do not benefit from the millions of dollars that economists estimate performing gay marriages in our state will bring. Why let CT or Mass. small businesses and tax payers benefit from marriages that coukld be performed right here in NY? In this economic climate depriving NY of all this money and these rights, while allowing gay marriage anyway, is not just discriminatory, it doesn’t make financial sense.

    Please remember that there is a separation between church and state in this country. Your religion does not have to recognize these unions, but the state should. Don’t let NY fall behind on this win-win opportunity.”

  • Andy

    Diaz is a lunatic and will never change his mind about gay marriage. E-mailing him is a waste of time.

    It’s more likely that gay marriage will become a reality in New York with the help of potentially opportunistic Republicans in increasingly liberal, urban districts. Also, a few democrats in conservative, rural districts have signaled their opposition, primarily because they’re insecure about their seats, and just need to be convinced that it’s in their interests to be on the right side of history. Send your emails to the following Senators instead of Diaz, because they may be more likely to evolve:

    John Flanagan
    Carl Marcellino
    Charles Fuschillo
    Owen Johnson
    William Stachowski
    David Valesky

  • BillyBob Thornton

    re: Andy

    I am sure you are right. However, if Diaz gets bombarded by supporters, maybe he’ll realize that he is fighting a losing battle.

  • Bill Perdue

    Religion and patriotism are used to cover endemic corruption.

    Diaz is an ordained pentecostal minister like the infamous bigot who runs the DNC, Leah Daughty and Obama’s Minister of Pandering, Joshua Dubois. Until recently Diaz ran the Christian Community and runs the Christian Community Neighborhood Church.

    In 2008 it was reported that “many Bronx elected officials and organizations linked to them have been subpoenaed by the feds or city investigators… Already making ink with probes are State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and Assemblyman son Ruben Jr…”

    The intersection of politics and religion leads is corruption and theocracy and it has to end if we’re to get equality. The fight for SSM, ENDA and against hate crimes by christians would be enhanced by calling for the end of all tax breaks, ‘faith based’ bribes and other corrupt practices.

    If the 2008 investigation of Diaz and his son reveal anything he should be expelled from the NY Senate.

    Religion is our enemy.

  • Ryan

    People should call his office and insist that he support the legislation. If you know anyone in his district which is the south bronx, urge them to call hm as well. As a former lobbyist I can tell you that if enough people in thier constituency call in, urging him to support this proposal, there’s a much better chance that he will support it. Leave a message if no one is there and pass this info on to firends, lets make sure we blow his phone up!

    District Office
    1733 East 172nd Street
    Bronx, NY 10472
    Tel: (718) 991-3161
    Fax: (718) 991-0309

  • An Other Greek


    Who are the Democrats that will run against him and challenge him?

    Let’s flood them with money.

    If you look at his district, it is poor/working-class, Hispanic/African-American, and DEMOCRATIC, if not entirely “liberal” in the bourgeois sensibility.

    Homophobia, like racism, is an artificial construct that people are, sometimes subconsciously, yearning to get rid of.

    And change IS happening.

    Who can challenge Diaz?


Comments are closed.