Queer Rising to Protest Sampson Fundraiser for NY State Sen. Diaz


Activist group Queer Rising is calling on amateur paparazzi to join them at a protest of New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.'s fundraiser, thrown by Senate Majority leader John Sampson.

Diazsr The group writes, in an email: "Queer Rising is outraged by New York State Senate Majority Leader John

Sampson's decision to hold a fundraiser for anti-LGBTQ Senator Ruben

Diaz of the Bronx on Thursday, August 12th. Senator Diaz led the

Democratic revolt against Marriage Equality in the Senate last

December, and he is a key target of a unified LGBTQ effort. In

response, Queer Rising invites all to join us at 'The Sampson & Diaz

Bigot Gala' paparazzi protest. 'Queer Rising is in the business of

holding people accountable for their anti-LGBTQ actions, attendees of

this function are supporting a bigot and need to be exposed,' said Natasha

Dillon, a founding member of Queer Rising."

The demo is scheduled to take place on Thursday at Maestro's Caterers, 1703 Bronxdale Avenue in the Bronx.

Sampson got an earful from LGBT activists over the weekend at a meeting of the Stonewall Democratic Club pissed at his support for Diaz and at his refusal to pledge to bring the marriage equality bill up for a vote.


"Furious gay advocates gave Senate Democratic leader John Sampson an earful in Brooklyn in an angry exchange that got so heated Sampson threatened to walk out.

He didn't.

Nor did he budge on the advocates' key issues during the two-hour meeting with the Stonewall Democratic Club.

Sampson has angered gay advocates with his pledge to support all Senate Dems seeking reelection, including the six who voted against the same-sex marriage bill, killing it, 38 to 24…The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender [LGBT] community is especially concerned by Sampson's support of Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley, a 'no' voter facing a primary challenge from gay-marriage supporter Lynn Nunes. Sampson gave Huntley $9,500 from his own campaign cash and tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York's largest LGBT organization, from endorsing Nunes."

Diaz, who is a current target of the Fight Back NY PAC, recently sent out a letter to supporters encouraging them to support Huntley, Senator Frank Padavan, and girlfriend-beating Senator Hiram Monserrate, because of their stand against same-sex marriage.

Said Diaz in the letter: "These election results will be vital to us as Christians and God-fearing people to keep our family, moral and traditional values that our ancestors left us and that the Bible teaches us."


  1. Anderson says

    Sen. John Sampson voted YES for marriage equality, Andy/Corey.

    I’m sure you forgot to mention this but the tone of the whole piece suggests Sampson is anti-gay or anti-marriage. Also I’m not sure how Diaz can ask “recently” ask anyone to vote for Monserrate who LOST his seat a few months ago in a special election.

    I think it’s very good to pressure politicians. I do wish both of you would be more careful. The huge picture of Sampson, the irate gays, the encouraging people to come to the protest and the lack of mentioning Sampson’s vote does seem more than a little slanted.

    And no offense, but a few carloads of white Chelsea gays coming up to Bronx to protest candidates will not be a good look. Trust.

  2. Brian in Texas says

    Thanks for that nugget Anderson. He’s the leader of his party in the state senate, so obviously he’s going to support and fund raise for his fellow caucus members.

    Is Diaz being primaried?

  3. Rich Murray says

    Having been seated at the table with Senator Sampson at Saturday morning’s meeting, I can address Anderson’s concerns.

    First, yes, Senator Sampson has changed his position on LGBT civil rights – including marriage – over the last few years. In addition to bringing the marriage bill to the floor of the Senate (something that never would have happened under Republican leadership), Senator Sampson also voted for the bill.

    But he is cowardly trying to strengthen his leadership position by working a deal with the bigots, like Senators Diaz and Huntley, by funneling thousands of dollars and support to them during their primary campaigns. Unfortunately, Senator Sampson doesn’t realize that he’s losing support for his leadership at the expense of pandering to these few ideological dinosaurs. Diaz and Huntley are of an age where they won’t be around for ever, and Sampson’s leadership will be history soon, too.

    And, speaking as an active member of this movement on the streets in all 5 boroughs, I can claim this isn’t an effort limited to “carloads of white Chelsea gays”. You speak from a place of ignorance and should get more involved – if not for the fight itself, then for the educational opportunity.

  4. jamal49 says

    @ANDERSON Thanks for mentioning that Sen. Sampson voted “Yes” on Marriage Equality. This only shows that even on LGBTQ level, there are some really dumb-ass LGBTQ groups here in NY with their heads far up their asses and who shoot themselves in the foot (and sabotage the rest us) on a regular basis. Queer Rising is one of them.

    Sen. Diaz, Sr. is a homophobe, a dyed-in-the-wool evangelical homophobe. But, Sr. Diaz does vote with much of the Democrats in the NY State Senate on many other issues important to black and hispanic residents, as well as the much-neglected upstate NY counties. That does NOT excuse his anti-marriage equality, virulent anti-LGBT stances.

    But, Sen. Sampson is the Democratic leader and, as such, he is justified and even obligated in supporting any Democratic candidate for the NY Legislature to ensure a Democratic majority. What we need is more Democrats elected to the Legislature so that Sr. Diaz’ anti-gay influence is neutralized and put in a corner to collect dust.

    By the way, Sr. Diaz, Sr.’ son, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr., is a sweetheart, a supporter of LGBT issues and also voted for marriage equality.

  5. Rich Murray says

    Please, Jamal, as a member of Queer Rising, I’d like you to describe exactly what steps you’ve taken in the last 6-9 months to help us gain our equality. I’m honestly open to learning from those with more experience and a success rate greater than ours. We’d love to hear from you. We meet Sunday nights in Manhattan. Join us.

    Please explain how Senator Diaz’ gang-of-three coup attempt and realignment with Republicans in a transparently idiotic power maneuver added any benefit to New York for months last year – and how it particularly aided black and Hispanic communities.

    And, please explain the electoral opportunities where Democrats can pick off Republican seats in the State Senate to further expand the Democratic Majority. Many of us believe it would have been easier to primary-out the bigoted Democrats with LGBT Democratic supporters, but I’m sure you have other better facts that might guide us to a better answer.

    Also – be sure to check in with the Bronx Boro President’s office to see where he stands on the issue of marriage equality in NYState. The last time I spoke with Ruben Diaz, Jr’s office, he doesn’t support marriage equality: he supports civil unions and won’t support the State Senate bill.

    Seriously, though, feel free to help us out! We all need all the activists and support we can get. Respectfully and with thanks!

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