Dem NY State Senator Rubén Díaz organizing anti-marriage equality rally

By pams
Sunday, April 19, 2009 15:56 EDT
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“As long as you need me, there will be no gay marriage.”
– NY State Senator Rubén Díaz, a Democrat who knows his party won’t challenge him on his bigoted views.

This is a perfect example of why the Democratic party needs to check itself — just because someone has a (D) behind their name does not mean they hold Dem principles, or even engage in rational thought — a lack of understanding of the separation of church and state should at least be a baseline for god’s sake.

I mean come on, State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. has called for Governor David Paterson’s removal over the marriage equality issue.

“We will bring out thousands and thousands of Hispanic evangelical Christians in the city of New York to ask Governor Paterson to step aside.”

What kind of Democrat is this? And worse, no person of color has any business discriminating, yet the Democratic party lets people like Diaz get away with this bigotry. Why? They need his vote. (NYT):

Mr. Díaz, a conservative Democrat and a Pentecostal minister, is one of the staunchest opponents of same-sex marriages in New York. Democrats took control of the State Senate in November, but they hold a slim majority, 32 to 30, and their leaders are fearful of alienating Mr. Díaz and others by holding a vote on same-sex marriage.

The fear is something I’ve been talking about for ages here on the Blend. White pols are afraid to hold POC bigots accountable for fear of losing the socially conservative (read religion-based homobigot) votes of those who otherwise are staunchly loyal Dem votes. They don’t want the race card to be played (and those POC Dems know it), and thus the white pols — and advocacy leaders of quite pale organizations — feel rendered helpless — and feel its left to minority LGBTs to do the dirty work of calling these homophobes of color out.

The bottom line and the reality is that too many LGBTs of color who feel unwilling or unable to decloset to do so, and those who are aren’t in positions of power in the LGBT establishment and thus the continued illusion people see is gay=white. More below the fold. And so the Rubén Díazs of the world continue to rule the roost unchecked by Dem peers:

He said he felt the timing of Mr. Paterson’s announcement Thursday was particularly disrespectful to Christians, coming four days after Easter and a day after the installation of Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan as the new leader of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York.

We evangelical Christians just ended our holy week, and the Catholics are receiving their leaders this week,” Mr. Díaz said. “He doesn’t even give him a chance to come to the city, and boom that’s the first thing that Archbishop Dolan is confronted with.”

Mr. Díaz said he had sent a letter to Archbishop Dolan asking for a meeting. (The text of that letter, which Mr. Díaz’s office released to reporters, did not directly mention same-sex marriage, although it praised Archbishop Dolan for “your message of love and respect for the dignity of all stages of human life, and respect for marriage and families.)

The Rev. Michael Lopez, of the Love, Power and Grace Church in the Bronx, who attended the meeting, said that same-sex marriage “is contrary not only to our beliefs, but to the Hispanic community. People have to understand that in the countries we come from this is not only a no no, it is something anti-Biblical and anti-religion.”

What the hell does Easter week have anything to do with civil marriage? And Lopez throws down a another scare card — announcing that he knows the view of the entire Hispanic community on the issue. Watch that go unchallenged. You see, this kind of B.S. is no problem for Díaz and like-minded Dems who share the view of Republican bible beaters that the U.S. needs to be a theocracy.

When are you going to see any NY Dem in that legislature go on the record calling out Díaz specifically for the ridiculous church-state conflation? Don’t hold your breath. I would be pleasantly surprised to be wrong on this one.

And as it’s quite obvious, this isn’t a New York problem. This is a Democratic party problem. It manifests itself in the whole “go slow” attitude on legislation that during the election year promises sounded like change was around the corner; it’s the whole “uh, oh, we need to be re-elected in 2010″ nonsense; it’s the sudden “we can’t multitask on civil rights while the economy is in the crapper” whining. All of this was so predictable, given the past spineless of Dems we’ve seen over the years. They had the cover of being in the minority, but now in the majority, nothing much has changed.

You see, if you’re going to effect change, as Gov. Paterson is trying to do with this legislation, you have to be prepared as a party to address the larger schism of race, religion and homophobia head-on. In a vacuum of a counter-message, the evangelical anti-gays plant seeds and watch them grow in these religious communities of color. Any success is not due to the brilliance of the Religious Right, but its ability and willingness to capitalize on the Democratic party’s self-imposed weakness and impotence regarding discipline on basic civil rights issues because of the race card.

We can win these issues in the courts (and legislatures where a socially conservative minority population is small), but we will not have a serious impact on changing minds country-wide if our side remains silent on this matter. As you can see, even in a Blue state, characters like State Senator Díaz have no fear that the party is going to come down on him.

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