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Monday, June 27, 2011

Gay Marriage Becomes Law -- Diazes React Very Differently

With the historic passage of gay marriage Friday night in the state Senate and Gov. Cuomo signing the legislation immediately, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and his father, State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., the only Democrat to vote against the bill, had very different reactions.

"God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago," Diaz Sr. said on the Senate floor.

In sharp contrast, the borough president, who did not publicly support same-sex marriage, said he looked forward to the wedding of his lesbian niece, Erica Diaz, who made headlines when she crashed her grandfather's anti-gay marriage rally on the courthouse steps and then took him on in a NY Post op-ed, and his chief of staff Paul Del Duca. He added:

"Now that the debate on marriage equality has been resolved, it is time for us to come together and move forward in a positive manner with respect for our fellow Bronxites and all New Yorkers, irrespective of our differences, backgrounds and religious beliefs. We must both celebrate and build upon our diversity for a better and brighter future for all of our hard working families. I also wish to complement Governor Andrew Cuomo for working sincerely and diligently to ensure that the appropriate balance of protections are ensured within the bill.


  1. This is a sad day. The governor shoved it down the throat of weak legislators. He should had let the people vote for it in a proposition.

  2. Anonymous-

    There is no direct referendum or "proposition" process under NYS law. What you propose is impossible.

    There is nothing weak about the Republican conference of the NYS Senate. They had the power to block this, but chose not to.

    The "people" do vote -- by voting for our representatives.

    I could not disagree more with your "sad day" comment. It was a great day. I am so proud to be a NYer. We are leading the way creating a more equal country.

  3. America always views itself as a democratic society. How undemocratic is it however that the leadership of the majority party in the senate is able to block the vote on a bill. How many good laws have been blocked in the past just because the Republican leadership does not want it to pass? We've been lucky this time that public opinion apparently lead the Republicans to agree on a vote.

  4. There are many faulty assumptions in your arguments. You stated that we vote for our "representatives". The people who voted for these Republicans were not duly represented, since they expected their Senators to vote against gay marriage. The real deal to this story is the reality that the governor arm twisted these senators through "incentives" and "goodies". It is a sad day to be a New Yorkers. Next, they will be forcing our children to learn about gay marriages and labeling people who have a different opinion as "bigots".

  5. there was a front page story in the times detailing that, ironically, it was actually super-rich republican donors who were behind the marshaling of republican senate votes to move this forward.

    yes, cuomo pushed it, but he worked with these republican funders' to get it done. here's the link to the story. it's quite interesting:


    and i agree wholeheartedly with jack. this was a great day for NY and an outstanding day for the democratic process. to me this is a textbook example of how legislation can significantly change our society.... in my mind, for the better.

  6. Rueben Diaz Sr has pledged to work with the Catholic Church of Buffalo to help defeat Mark Grisanti in his re-election bid. This is against the IRS tax code which governs charitable organizations such as Charities and Churches, which are prohibited from endorsing political candidates. If Diaz's church and the Catholic Church attempt to lobby for a political candidate opposing Grisanti they should be stripped of their non-profit status and I won't hesitate to file a complaint. If Diaz Sr. is so worried about teh fragility of hetero-sexual marriage , he should get back together with his divorced wife.

  7. To Anonymous on June 27, 2011 11:03:00 PM

    I suppose your comments about "faulty assumptions" are directed at me.

    1 -- I was simply stating a fact. In NYS there is no possibility of direct referendum or "proposition". The real faulty assumption came from the first Anonymous commenter who assumed it could be done.

    2- Representative democracy is still democracy. Voters are still "duly" represented even if the elected official changes his/her position on an issue. Voters have the right to vote against a representative. Certainly the four Republican votes will face this reality in 2012. By the way -- I don't think Saland, Alesi, and MacDonald ran on this issue. I could be wrong. Certainly Grisanti did affirmatively say he would be against marriage equality. He changed his mind. Certainly there are voters who will be upset and will vote against him. (as an aside -- don't be shocked to see Grisanti switch parties.)

    3. Not sure what it means to force children to learn about gay marriage. I would imagine the topic would be discussed in classes throughout the state -- just like any other historical moment is taught. Just because some disagree -- children should not remain ignorant of history.

    4. I don't think everyone who is against marriage equality is a bigot. I do think Rev. Diaz is an anti-gay bigot. Not just because he is obsessed with same sex marriage, but also his history of bigoted actions like his comments about NYC hosting the Gay Games leading to the spread of AIDS and his opposition to Hetrick-Martin.

  8. If the super-rich GOPers who got this across the line had spent to ass much to kill the bill, Gaxie would be crying bloody murder. A very serious double standard.

  9. While I'm happy that this is now law, I'd say there are probably a good two or three dozen more pressing fundamental issues facing the state, and GAX, you're going to have to explain to me how it's a good thing that this law (or any other good law) had no chance of happening until a bunch of rich guys said so.


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