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'Rogue' NY Senate Democrats Use 'Gay Marriage' as Bargaining Chip

Smith

As you may know, Democrats gained two seats in the New York Senate in last week's elections, giving the party a technical majority. In most situations this would suggest things look hopeful for passing same-sex marriage in the state, especially given Governor Paterson's stance on it.

DiazsrBut it's only right now a "potential" majority because three "rogue" Democrats, Sen. Carl Kruger, Sen.-elect Pedro Espada Jr., and Sen. Ruben Diaz, all Democrats, are conservative on social issues and at least one has admitted using same-sex marriage as a bargaining chip with Democratic leader Malcolm Smith (pictured, above).

The NY Post reports:

"Gay marriage emerged as a central issue in the fight for control of the Senate yesterday, after a key lawmaker vowed to withhold support from any leader who would push to legalize same-sex nuptials. Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. of The Bronx - one of three rogue Democrats threatening to spoil the party's hard-fought rise to Senate dominance in January - called on Democratic leader Malcolm Smith to pledge publicly not to advance the issue. 'Just give it to me in writing that you will not bring the gay marriage to the floor and you got me,' Diaz told The Post."

Lame-duck Majority leader Dean Skelos (R-LI) is also attempting to woo the Democratic rogues.

You may remember the press conference in late October at which Smith ducked a direct question about same-sex marriage. The Post writes: "Smith, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has said legalizing gay marriage will not be one of his priorities."

You do the math.

Watch Smith's late October press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously
New York Lawmaker Malcolm Smith Evasive on Same-Sex Marriage [tr]

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Comments

  1. Andy - thank you for putting this up on the site. Gay and lesbian New York residents should be alarmed about Diaz' (Sr.) attempt to thwart the passage of same sex marriage in the state Senate. He makes no apologies for his stance. Here's a statement from his Senate website page put up in the last few days:

    "To clear the air and avoid any misunderstandings, there is a commitment – a handshake commitment - between Senator-elect Espada, Senator Kruger, Senator-elect Monserrate, and myself that we will not do anything until we meet Tuesday, November 11, 2008, and that any decision will be made public by the four of us after said meeting.


    If Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate has made a decision in Puerto Rico to endorse Senator Malcolm Smith, that is his decision. I have not made a decision yet and hope the others have not either. I have not committed myself to anybody, and my position as an ordained minister and a pastor will not allow me to support any would be leader that will bring gay marriage to the Senate floor.


    This is nothing new. Mr. Smith and all my colleagues have known my position for more than a year. That does not make me a Republican. Where is it written that in order to be a Democrat you have to support gay marriage? And where is it written that if you do not support gay marriage you are not a good Democrat? I have always been a Democrat. I remain a Democrat, and I will continue to be a Democrat. A Democrat who rejects gay marriage and abortion based upon my beliefs." - State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr, 32nd Senate District (Bronx).

    Folks - we need to be watching this closely. Don't forget that Governor Patterson has publically stated he will sign the bill and the NY Assembly has already voted in favor. Let's not let one person decide our future.

    FYI - his son, Ruben Diaz, Jr is a state Assembly member representing the 85th AD and while there's nothing on record stating his position, he shouldn't be confused with his father.

    Posted by: Mark D. | Nov 11, 2008 8:32:17 AM


  2. I certainly hope Diaz does not get all uppity and try to use the white drinking fountain.

    Posted by: Olive Yurdich | Nov 11, 2008 8:42:12 AM


  3. If a same-sex marriage bill reaches Gov. Patterson's desk and he signs it, what's to keep the religious right from overturning it like they just did in California with Prop. 8?

    Are the proponents of same-sex marriage any better organized in New York state than they were in California?

    Posted by: elg | Nov 11, 2008 8:52:00 AM


  4. Well said, Olive.

    Can we just call this drama out for what it is: an opportunity for heretofore oppressed minorities to pay it forward and "legitimately" bash another minority?

    The old, white patriarchy is LOVING this in-fighting.

    Posted by: greaser | Nov 11, 2008 8:57:10 AM


  5. now's not the time to fvck with the gays, Mr. Diaz Sr. after prop 8, we're all hungry for a target, you bigoted, low-life hypocrite.

    Posted by: Nathan | Nov 11, 2008 9:53:01 AM


  6. Anyone know his home address? We can go park on his street with our signage after the rally Wednesday night.

    Posted by: Jersey | Nov 11, 2008 10:44:35 AM


  7. According to the NYT's The Bronx has the largest concentration of same-sex couples raising children in New York City. Senator Diaz should hear from these families, their children and the community that clearly offers some measure of support for these same-sex families. It is time the larger gay and lesbian movement leverage, engage, incorporate and mobilize non-white gay and lesbian families. Senator Diaz should not be allowed belittle and disregard the lives of the gay and lesbian families who live in The Bronx.

    Posted by: Stuart | Nov 11, 2008 1:27:46 PM


  8. According to the NYT's The Bronx has the largest concentration of same-sex couples raising children in New York City. Senator Diaz should hear from these families, their children and the community that clearly offers some measure of support for these same-sex families. It is time the larger gay and lesbian movement leverage, engage, incorporate and mobilize non-white gay and lesbian families. Senator Diaz should not be allowed belittle and disregard the lives of the gay and lesbian families who live in The Bronx.

    Posted by: Stuart | Nov 11, 2008 1:28:11 PM


  9. According to the NYT's The Bronx has the largest concentration of same-sex couples raising children in New York City. Senator Diaz should hear from these families, their children and the community that clearly offers some measure of support for these same-sex families. It is time the larger gay and lesbian movement leverage, engage, incorporate and mobilize non-white gay and lesbian families. Senator Diaz should not be allowed belittle and disregard the lives of the gay and lesbian families who live in The Bronx.

    Posted by: Stuart | Nov 11, 2008 1:28:30 PM


  10. Great comment, Stuart. THanks.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 11, 2008 1:36:32 PM


  11. So lets make him aware that if he continues on this path, then we will be all over him like white on rice. And, when he tries to run for reelection, all of the west village, chlesea and hell's kitchen will contribute $5 to his opponents campaign. We'll show him exactly what a "good democrat" is!

    Posted by: ERB | Nov 11, 2008 2:03:26 PM


  12. Queer New Yorkers have worked within the system for years and years for marriage equality--to no avail.

    And it looks like these "rogue" bigots intend to use their power to continue the onerous system of anti-gay discrimination in New York.

    People, the time for protest is once again upon us, and it's time to dust off the time-honored gay New York protest tradition: the "zap!"

    NYC queers pioneered--literally--the "zap" protest, where activists would show up and confront the oppressor, wherever he showed his face. It is right to speak truth to power. We must take action.

    Zap these bigots! Protest them wherever they show their faces--on the street, at a press conference, in their Albany offices--rise up!

    Posted by: leshuck | Nov 11, 2008 2:25:00 PM


  13. These protests in NY directed at Prop. 8 should also be directed here... Right in NY... These problems are ours...

    Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 12, 2008 8:18:59 PM


  14. Diaz, you represent ALL the people of your district, you bigoted fuck.. SERVE THEM ALL or take your bigoted fucking attitude and beliefs and go to hell! If you are not prepared to stand up for your constituents' rights, all of them, you have NO RIGHT to be in office. That goes for your other pathetic sidekicks Kruger and Espade too!

    Posted by: CK | Nov 13, 2008 12:57:02 PM


  15. Ruben Diaz, Sr. is a scumbag of the first order. He has been a pain in the ass for the NY State Democratic organization for at least 20 years. The guy is dishonest, corrupt and an absolute hypocrite. Ruben Diaz, Sr. is a philanderer and has fathered four children by three different woman other than his wife that I know of. He is now using gay and lesbian people as a power-play pawn. He is despicable. The sad thing is that in order for the Democrats to effectively control the NY State Senate, they need Diaz, Sr. He know it and is using it to push his own right-wing agenda. That asshole ought to be confronted by the angry mob and pelted with rotten eggs. The real shame is that his son, Ruben Diaz, Jr., gets a black eye every time his wing-nut father goes off on one of his wing-nut binges. Diaz, Jr. is a decent guy, honorable, honest, compassionate and a quiet supporter of gay and lesbian equality. Go figure.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 13, 2008 2:02:47 PM


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