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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.

Background
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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Comments

  1. wow. it's all down to a black guy and two hispanics setting the agenda? good luck with that. i'm just sayin'. that didn't work out to well for us here in CA>

    Posted by: psgoodguy | Dec 10, 2008 1:16:21 PM


  2. homo's mine...the fact that Diaz is black is irrelevant to the matter (remember Smith is also black). Concentrate on his latent disregard for human rights. Also, if the system for allowing bills to the floor in the NY Senate weren't so corrupt, we would not be having this conversation! The reason why the bill never came to a vote before is b/c Bruno wouldn't allow it! (We had the votes and the governor for over a year now).

    Regardless, I say we start to figure out how to recall Diaz. Not based on the fact that he won't allow a vote on gay marriage, but the very fact that his constituents thought they voted in a Democrat, and he is failing to act like a Democrat. I'm going to go do some NY constitutional research now! Yes we will!

    Again, keep the racist barbs out of this discussion. Lowering ourselves to his level will never attract more people to our cause (at least not the type of people we want associated with our cause).

    Posted by: ERB | Dec 10, 2008 1:18:52 PM


  3. Yay, more racist crackers like psgoodguy.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Dec 10, 2008 1:22:55 PM


  4. I am surprised that no one has brought this up, but doesn't this threat run in both directions? I'd be making my calls to my own districts Senator, encouraging him to not sign off or make any deals that the gang of three may wish to pass to benefit their own districts. Once things come to a standstill for their constituants and their needs are left unaddressed, they may consider electing officals who would be more effective in promoting the agendas of those who elected them.

    I say call your own representatives and encourage them to shut these three done, so that their ipact is minimized and they are essentially relegated to lame duck senators.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 10, 2008 1:38:16 PM


  5. Homophobic People of Color is always a toucky subject at best.

    But pick your fights ERB

    Whats more important to battke right now.

    The "racist cracker" who's probably not racist just angry

    or.....

    The "Homophobic Brother Ploitician" who wants to deny you your Civil Rights?

    Pick your battle wisely.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Dec 10, 2008 1:45:58 PM


  6. WOLFIE, this is a public site. Not only gay people can read it. How on earth does someone throwing racist slurs around going to help us. If you take them out of context (i.e. quote the bad and not the good..which is typical of the right) we will look no better than the other side. Also, Diaz is a homophobe and Smith is not. Throwing a slur at one person who is a particular minority automatically imputes the slure onto another member of that minority, b/c the one saying the slur is discriminating against an entire group.

    My battle is for our rights. My battle is to be treated equally under the law. My battle is NOT to treat others badly in order to get my rights. My battle is NOT to be racist in pursuit of my rights.

    I think I have chosen my battles. You should take your own advice and choose your battles wisely.

    Posted by: ERB | Dec 10, 2008 1:56:24 PM


  7. The party of inclusion (unless you piss us off, then we'll throw you under the bus because we never really gave a crap about you, your marriages or any other "rights" you think you might have).

    At least I know the Republicans hate me.

    Posted by: Wordit | Dec 10, 2008 1:59:14 PM


  8. There are some people you can't compromise with because they take compromise as a sign of weakness. Every compromise is "temporary" and just a stage in asking for more power.
    Diaz and the gang of three seem to be like that.
    SONDA was sponsored by a gay-friendly female State Senator from Syracuse (who largely lost her next race because of that) and was passed with a handful of Republican votes (and many Democratic votes.) This would be a great opportunity for New York State Republicans to reach out to glbt New Yorkers and for Log Cabin New York to make some moves. I suspect they will.

    Posted by: Puddy Katz | Dec 10, 2008 2:00:58 PM


  9. Would-be IMPACTers, Day Without Gay Common Sensers....you want us to suggest what you do instead? It's right here before you"

    Make the lives of the Three Thugs MISERABLE! Keep jamming their phones. Sit-in at their offices. Picket their homes, restaurants and other businesses they frequent, etc., etc.

    New York Gays: Show your gratitude to those who came before and learn from them that JUST standing around your own neighborhoods with cute, self-righteous signs is ultimately just political masturbation.

    The post-Stonewall NY Gay Activist Alliance did public "zaps" on then-Mayor Lindsay, then-UN Ambassador Goldberg, Harper's Magazine, the NY Dem party, et al. ....Bruce Voeller, the co-founder of NGLTF, CHAINED HIMSELF to the desk of the NY McGovern for President office......and CHANGED the status quo.

    Take the marvelous passion and numbers you showed with the demonstrations at the NY Mormon church and turn it against the Three Thugs.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Dec 10, 2008 2:22:16 PM


  10. Wolfie, while the "cracker"comment is just as ignorant as the other bigoted posts on this topic, I don't want to deal with either the bigoted gay man or the bigoted straight Black man. Why do I have to confront only one of them, and let the other get off scot free? Again, why are we scapegoating Black people when a. one of the three is White, and White people have done more than an adequate job of advancing homophobia in this country.

    Posted by: Cadence | Dec 10, 2008 2:35:22 PM


  11. Never Again! We must fight this...threats? Oh HELL no. Get everyone in this country calling these clowns and shut down their offices. Maybe time for a sit-in in their offices? Keep the pressure on.....never give up.

    Posted by: angrycitizen | Dec 10, 2008 3:38:58 PM


  12. Never Again! We must fight this...threats? Oh HELL no. Get everyone in this country calling these clowns and shut down their offices. Maybe time for a sit-in in their offices? Keep the pressure on.....never give up.

    Posted by: angrycitizen | Dec 10, 2008 3:39:27 PM


  13. Don't live in NY, and this jerk thankfully isn't representing me. But I just sent him a letter vowing that whatever, whoever, is running against him, I will support financially in retribution, be it either party's candidate.

    What an idiot! Pour your disgust into backing his opponent in the next election, and remember this fools name.

    Will call this idiot's line in the morning.

    Thanks to Smith for taking a moral stand against this extortion.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 10, 2008 8:30:11 PM


  14. The Republicans wouldn't have allowed this haggling in the first place. They don't negotiate with "terrorists."

    Party discipline has always been a problem for the Democrats.

    If these were GOP lawmakers, they would've been thrown out of the caucus by now.

    Posted by: John | Dec 11, 2008 2:39:54 AM


  15. I know he's going to be exceedingly busy, but if President Obama could find some time to show some real Executive Support for the gays and this movement, that'd be great. I'm not saying he has to pressure any state governments to legitimize gay marriage. I'd be happy with a short press conference on the issue advising Americans that we've come too far in this country to still be withholding rights from certain groups of people. Am I overreaching? I know we have 2 messy wars and a global financial meltdown approaching the scale of the Great Depression, but to politely take a backseat to those issues now would be a mistake, because WE REALLY AREN'T ASKING FOR ALL THAT MUCH! We aren't looking for any kind of bailout, and we aren't asking for any special privileges; we just want what everybody else already has. Let's keep that in mind when they inevitably try to undercut us as being petty and self-centered in a time of crisis.

    Also, as a black person, I was pissed to learn how large a majority of black voters had helped pass prop 8, compared to other demographics. In fact, I felt zero love for black people for quite a while, and didn't even feel angry when other gays started hurling racist epithets. That black people would be ok with "separate, but equal" and legalized discrimination is mind boggling to me. But racism is ultimately defeating to our cause, so cut it out guys, or at least stop using the prop8 decision as your justification.

    Posted by: Krebin | Dec 11, 2008 4:16:11 AM


  16. Some folks are so naive with this talk of the Democratic Party "throwing gay people under the bus." It took almost 30 years for Black Democrats to be fully recognized as a powerful force in the Democratic Party. In the 1970s there were still very powerful Southern (and some Yankee) Democrats who resisted the national party's embrace of civil rights, affirmative action, and especially school integration.

    There are many Democrats (in local/state government) who feel they don't owe gay people anything--although most city mayors do know the power of the gay vote. It will take time and more "gay voter visibility"-- (just as if did for blacks, feminists, Hispanics) for full gay civil rights to become a "given" policy for ALL Democrats --especially social conservative Democrats (there is such a creature, you know?).

    Let's see whether all these new national Democrats (in the Congress) from the South and Rocky Mountain states fully embrace gay civil rights.

    Atleast within the Democratic Party you have many allies. Where are your allies in the Republican Party.

    And I don't get a penny from the DNC for this advertisement, baby.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 11, 2008 11:36:44 AM


  17. Maybe Senator Diaz is seeing what WE can do. His deal would not have fallen apart if we hadn't kept up the pressure. He may not care about our rights but he knows when he has been backed into a corner.

    Posted by: Don NYC | Dec 11, 2008 6:06:49 PM


  18. For all those that say we should not fight back, I say "give me liberty or give me death". If you don't get loud sometimes you can't be heard. No one has listened in the past. If ACT-UP would have been peaceful, would the drug companies lowered their rates for AZT when it was over 100 dollars a pill. That loud demonstration at Glaxo Smith Kline resulted in meds being fast tracked and cheaper. People are alive today because of it. Show some respect for us that are out there in the trenches fighting your battles so that you can partake in the rights after they are given. Show some fortitude.

    Posted by: QueenZafrona | Dec 14, 2008 8:27:38 AM


  19. For all those that say we should not fight back, I say "give me liberty or give me death". If you don't get loud sometimes you can't be heard. No one has listened in the past. If ACT-UP would have been peaceful, would the drug companies lowered their rates for AZT when it was over 100 dollars a pill. That loud demonstration at Glaxo Smith Kline resulted in meds being fast tracked and cheaper. People are alive today because of it. Show some respect for us that are out there in the trenches fighting your battles so that you can partake in the rights after they are given. Show some fortitude.

    Posted by: QueenZafrona | Dec 14, 2008 8:27:56 AM


  20. For all those that say we should not fight back, I say "give me liberty or give me death". If you don't get loud sometimes you can't be heard. No one has listened in the past. If ACT-UP would have been peaceful, would the drug companies lowered their rates for AZT when it was over 100 dollars a pill. That loud demonstration at Glaxo Smith Kline resulted in meds being fast tracked and cheaper. People are alive today because of it. Show some respect for us that are out there in the trenches fighting your battles so that you can partake in the rights after they are given. Show some fortitude.

    Posted by: QueenZafrona | Dec 14, 2008 8:28:10 AM


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