Gay Marriage | Malcolm Smith | New York | News

NY Senator Diaz Sr. Issues Threat to Gays as Dem Deal Breaks Down

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that it was looking like the power-sharing deal between New York Senate Democrats Malcolm Smith and the so-called "gang of three" (Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr., Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, and Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn) was on its way to a breakdown.

Diaz_smithLast week it was reported that the deal, which might have made a technical Democratic majority in the Senate into a solid one, had sacrificed a vote on same-sex marriage in the coming session by using it as a bargaining chip.

What the four Senators seem to have discovered is that power-sharing is not easy, and the deal has indeed crumbled.

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. told the NYDN's Elizabeth Benjamin last night that there is essentially no deal.

Diaz Sr. also threw down the gauntlet to New York's gay community, issuing a vague threat:

"The gays are calling my office. They're jamming my phones. They're going to see what we can do. They're going to see exactly what we can do. Ed Koch (who called the 'gang of three' "rats" on NY1 this week) is going to see what we can do. They're just going to see. That is what I'm telling you."

Gee, that's a really responsible tone for an elected official to take when people perceived to be gay are being attacked and bludgeoned to death in the city's streets.

In related news:

Gays in New York who were behind the Facebook group supporting Malcolm Smith as majority leader have changed the name of the Facebook group (of which I am an officer) to The Power.

Anyone with an interest in supporting the push for marriage equality in New York is encouraged to join this group to stay updated on activities toward achieving this goal.

NY's Gov Paterson: From 'Hands-On' to 'Hands-Off' on Gay Marriage [tr]
NY Gay Leaders Await Answers on Marriage Element of Dem Deal [tr]
New York Democrats Strike Deal; Same-Sex Marriage Vote Tossed [tr]
A Thanksgiving Thaw for New York Democrats? [tr]
'Rogue' NY Senate Democrats Use 'Gay Marriage' as Bargaining Chip [tr]

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  1. The arrogance of these politicians is appalling. What rights can we hold hostage from Diaz? I think when politicians make statements like these it demonstrates an abuse of power just as egregious as Rod Blagojevich's selling Obama's Senate seat. Why do people who have been discriminated against for so long feel like it's acceptable to discriminate against others now that they hold the upper hand? I say recall the bastard.

    Posted by: Larry | Dec 10, 2008 10:57:25 AM

  2. Ruben Diaz doesn't like gays calling him up??? Well, I say call him some more! Here is his office number: (718) 991-3161. Let him know that we absolutely refuse to be intimidated by those we elect to serve us. Senator Diaz seems to have forgotten we are his constituency, too, and we do not receive veiled threats well.

    How DARE he?

    Posted by: Nathan James | Dec 10, 2008 11:02:32 AM

  3. As a reminder, here's Senator Diaz’s number: (718) 991-3161. Please do call.

    Posted by: ALAN CHAMBERS | Dec 10, 2008 11:11:22 AM

  4. Diaz is nothing but a third rate political burn-out. How dare he use his elected position to threaten a contingent of the electorate who are exercising their constitutional rights. What a jerk!

    Posted by: Gay Power Living | Dec 10, 2008 11:17:08 AM

  5. We need to get these thugs out of Albany. How dare they hold members of their constituency hostage like this?!?

    Elected officials are supposed to watch out for the welfare of thier constituency, not the welfare of their power base.

    Posted by: MT | Dec 10, 2008 11:17:49 AM

  6. That's fine, Ruby--no more down-low blowjobs from me!

    Posted by: David D. | Dec 10, 2008 11:19:26 AM

  7. This is DISGUSTING. Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. needs to be exposed publicly for making this threat. We need to get major coverage in NYC and across the US on this.

    I just spoke to his office and asked that he let us know exactly what he is threatening to do, and who he will be targeting. I was told that the message will be passed on to Senator Díaz.

    Call his office NOW - tell him that we will not be bullied, threatened, intimidated or silenced.

    "I am here to recruit you!" - Harvey Milk

    Posted by: Jeff Hall | Dec 10, 2008 11:27:04 AM

  8. Gee....
    After Proposition 8, I am sooooo glad the gay community apologized for the stereotypes about black and Hispanic evangelical bigots! Obviously those stereotypes were totally baseless!

    Unless they can separate Church and State, these people have no business in civil politics. Period.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Dec 10, 2008 11:33:44 AM

  9. Here's all the assholes info

    Ruben Diaz, Sr.

    32nd District
    Part of Bronx County

    304 Legislative Office Building
    Albany, New York 12247

    1733 E. 172nd Street
    Bronx, New York 10472

    Maybe some gay porn emails would help

    The fucker how does one impeach a SENATOR?

    Posted by: Wolfie | Dec 10, 2008 11:33:46 AM

  10. note to commenters: I've made one deletion on this thread already of a blanket racist comment. Please do not go that route.

    Posted by: Andy | Dec 10, 2008 11:34:20 AM

  11. to j.r.:
    your ignorance is show. smith, also a black man, is a straight ally.

    Posted by: rae | Dec 10, 2008 11:37:22 AM

  12. Just called and urged everyone on my Facebook to do so as well.

    Posted by: Alex | Dec 10, 2008 11:42:51 AM

  13. Should Albany be protested next?

    Posted by: anon | Dec 10, 2008 11:49:15 AM

  14. You can also email at write the Govenor and DEMAND that Diaz's comments and now THREATS to NY's Gay Communitty be adressed by The Govenor.

    To Write To The Governor:
    Governor David A. Paterson
    State Capitol
    Albany, NY 12224

    Posted by: Wolfie | Dec 10, 2008 11:49:37 AM

  15. Who says that activism doesn't work?
    Good job! These clowns are less than pathetic...the little lambs have lost their way so they better get back to church and pray and pay. Liberty and Justice for ALL.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Dec 10, 2008 11:53:34 AM

  16. Strepsi, since Smith is Black, and supports gay rights, how does your ignorant statement make sense. There are more Black dems in NY who support gay rights than the ones who are against it. And, least we forget, count the number of White Republicans in NY who will vote against gay rights. Please get over your ignorant beliefs.

    Posted by: Cadence | Dec 10, 2008 11:58:01 AM

  17. Two points. First, can we please stop with this how can anyone who's been discriminated against discriminate against anyone else illogic. The notion that an individual that has been discriminated against should see your oppression as the same oppression that they've experienced-- or even sees your oppression at all-- is an assumption. Mormons contributed millions to Prop 8-- including individuals involved in film and theatre who knew gay people. Yet despite the negative perceptions and bias many Mormon's face, they supported an anti-gay constitutional amendment. Clearly, many Mormons did not see the connection between bias they have suffered and suffer and supporting an anti-gay amendment. If they didn't see it, why should this person of color see it.

    One of my concerns is that if you start from this deeply flawed premise, I am not sure how you craft an effective strategy to deal with the bias. If you don't have power, you need to deal with others and to reach them you've got to try to understand where they are in order to reach YOUR GOAL.

    Second, is anyone really surprised Diaz is pissed. I am all for advocacy and letting your voice be heard. I think that direct confrontation can be helpful. Of course, there are some people that will never be your friend and who you'll have to write off. But when a person perceives that you have attacked them, you cannot be surprised when they attack back. That goes for both the NY gay community and for Diaz. The problem is that right now Diaz appears to have the power. I don't live in NY, but I'm just not sure that more calls to Diaz will be effective. I imagine that more calls will only harden him. Instead, I'd be more inclined to call legislators that are friends of Diaz and ask them what they are doing to lean on him. I'd find out what legislative initiatives are important to him and use those to get him on board with gay marriage.

    I just saw Milk and I was struck by how Milk handled the Prop 6 fight. He didn't just preach to choir. He actively and appropriately engaged his primary Prop 6 opponent. He let his opponent show how ridiculous his positions were.

    I people are angry, but I am concerned that unfocused anger won't bring us any close to marriage equality.

    Posted by: Brandon | Dec 10, 2008 12:02:31 PM

  18. To add: People who want to make this about race should really know the racial backgrounds of the people involved. Carl Kruger, who is one of the gang of three, is White. People who say that Black people are the ones pushing this homophobic agenda have no clue. If White people were in support of same sex marriage, marriage bans would not have been passed in thirty states. I know this is falling on deaf ears, since people are just going to use this issue to show their bigotry and ignorance.

    Posted by: Cadence | Dec 10, 2008 12:09:31 PM

  19. Is Diaz's son gay-friendly?

    Posted by: Jason | Dec 10, 2008 12:22:24 PM

  20. *Isn't

    Posted by: Jason | Dec 10, 2008 12:23:31 PM

  21. Weather Diaz is Black, White, or Fuschia right now doesn't matter. What matters that his comment above, actually the threat is unclled for and VERY VERY unbecoming of a State Senator and a THREAT to our well being as Gay and lesbians not onl;y in NY but elsewhere.

    Unless people...and especially politicians are not made to vcurb thier hateful speech than all is lost,

    So please focus on the above comment at hand and what YOU can do about it to bring light to this mans heinous behavior and please STOP attacjking each other.

    Thank you

    Posted by: Wolfie | Dec 10, 2008 12:31:30 PM

  22. Just got a message through the Facebook group that Smith has shut down the negotiations, and said he'd rather wait two years for the leadership than cave into the gang of three's narrow interests.

    Bravo Senator Smith! (NYers in particular should probably write him to demonstrate support and thanks...)

    Posted by: MAJeff | Dec 10, 2008 12:35:16 PM

  23. How interesting that the Democratic Party of New York threw the gays, who were VERY instrumental in giving them a majority in the Senate, under the bus to make nice to the bigots and now the bigots are still not willing to work with them.

    Nothing like throwing your most loyal constituency under the bus to make an alliance with those who aren't loyal to the party only to find that you have no alliance but you have to go back to the loyal constituency that you screwed over with hat in hand and explain to them what you did and why you did it.

    This is the very definition of the acronym SNAFU (Situation Normal All F*cked Up) when it comes to the relationship between the Democratic Party and the GLBT community.

    I hope a lesson has been learned, both by the party AND our community.

    It's high time that we DEMAND respect and DEMAND that they return the loyalty that our community has given them. How many times do they get to pull this sh*t before we say, in the words of PE Obama, "ENOUGH"!

    Posted by: Zeke | Dec 10, 2008 12:53:38 PM

  24. Malcolm Smith is an honorable and decent man who EARNED his right to be the next Senate Majority Leader. He is a loyal and faithful Democrat who has been supportive of the gay community. But, Ruben Diaz, Sr., one of the most disreputable, dishonest, vile and corrupt Senators NY State has ever had, pulled a cheap power-play and attempted a coup d'etat. Hopefully, he has lost and Mr. Smith will able to take his rightful leadership role in the State senate. It's nothing new that Diaz, Sr. would make threats of revenge. That is how the man operates. He has corrupted Bronx politics. He is despicable. The asshole should be impeached from the Senate.

    Posted by: mike | Dec 10, 2008 12:55:30 PM

  25. To add on about Smith, he said that he never agreed to shelve the issue of marriage equality, and that those reports were untrue. Again, bravo to him for not giving in to those bullies. Obviously he hasn't heard that because he is Black, he isn't supposed to fight for equality for everyone.

    Posted by: Cadence | Dec 10, 2008 12:56:46 PM

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