Diane Vera

Everything the religious right wing is against, I am for!

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Who opposes same-sex marriage here in New York?
Last month, New Governor David Paterson announced he would introduce a bill in the state legislature to legalize same-sex marriage here in New York State. Some relevant news stories:

The latter article mentions two of the main opponents of same-sex marriage: (1) State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., who is also pastor of the (Pentecostal) Christian Community Neighborhood Church in the Bronx, and (2) the new Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

More about Rubén Díaz can be found in the New York Times City Room blog post Bronx Senator Organizing Protest of Marriage Bill by Mathew R. Warren, April 16, 2009. This blog post mentions an organization called the New York Hispanic Clergy Association, which held a meeting at Díaz's church in opposition to {Paterson's proposed same-sex marriage legislation. According to Warren, "Mr. Díaz told those in attendance that they were starting to plan a large rally to be held some time in May."

Warren also names and quotes two other opponents of same-sex marriage who attended the meeting:  the Rev. Michael Lopez, of the Love, Power and Grace Church in the Bronx, and (2) Miguel Perdomo, who lives (or works?) in Throgs Neck and is a member of the Second Star of Jacob Church in the Bronx.

Also in mid-April, the new Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan held a news conference in which, "Asked about Gov. David A. Paterson’s plan to introduce a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in New York, he said the church’s position on the issue was clear, but he declined to specify whether or how actively he would lobby the governor and state lawmakers on the issue," according to another New York Times City Room blog post, Archbishop Dolan’s First News Conference by Sewell Chan, April 15, 2009. Dolan explained that he is too new on the job to know, yet, exactly what he is going to do.

Another likely opponent might be the local Mormon churches, though I haven't yet seen any news as to exactly what they are doing. I did come across a New York Times City Room blog post from back in November, At Mormon Temple, a Protest Over Prop 8 by Colin Moynihan, November 13, 2008, about a protest by gay rights activists against the Mormon church's support of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. According to Moynihan, "Thousands of protesters marched to Columbus Circle from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple at 125 Columbus Avenue on Wednesday evening."

Paterson's proposed legislation is opposed by most Christian clergy in the southern part of upstate New York, according to the Gannett article Christian clergy mostly oppose same-sex marriage by William Moyer, pressconnects.com, Greater Binghamton, New York, May 9, 2009. This article mentions that "the region's largest Protestant denomination - the United Methodist Church - strictly forbids pastors from participating in same-sex ceremonies, according to policy set by a quadrennial national conference." The United Methodist Church is, generally speaking, a middle-of-the-road Protestant denomination.

Looking for more information about the protest organized by Rubén Díaz, I found NY clergy to protest gay marriage proposal, Associated Press, via Fox44 News, May 11, 2009, which says:

NEW YORK (AP) - A group of Hispanic religious leaders is planning to hold an anti-gay marriage rally outside of Gov. David Paterson's Manhattan office.

The group announced on Monday that it will hold the demonstration on Sunday.

The gay marriage opponents include state Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx. Diaz also is a minister.

The protest is being organized by Vision Cristiana Internacional and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization.

Also I found Gay Marriage rally in the works Sunday after NY AIDS walk, on GaySocialites.com, May 8, 2009:
I heard that several gay groups are scurring to organize a huge pro-gay marriage rally in Times Square on Sunday immediately following the AIDS Walk in New York.

Insiders tell me that this in response to a massive group of homophobes who plan to protest outside Governor David Paterson's Manhattan offices. The haters, led by Senator Ruben Diaz, are pissed that Paterson introduced a bill that would bring marriage equality to New York.

Unfortunately, no details are provided here as to which groups are involved in organizing the pro-gay marriage rally.

According to the Legislative Gazette article Same-sex marriage opponent, Sen. Diaz, says he will ask gov. not to seek re-election by Katrina Kieltyka, Monday Apr 20, Diaz said that he and more than 100 ministers are “in the process in the next few weeks to organize a demonstration of the Hispanic community to ask Gov. Paterson not to be a candidate for governor.”

State Senator Rubén Díaz has a son, Rubén Díaz, Jr., who is the newly elected borough president of the Bronx. Díaz Jr. has "an out gay chief of staff, Paul Del Duca, long active with the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York and his chief of staff as a member of the State Assembly as well," according to Out Gay Chief for Diaz by Andy Humm, Gay City News, April 30, 2009. Humm also says, "Diaz, Jr. had a mixed record in the Legislature on LGBT issues, voting against the marriage equality bill, but supporting the anti-bullying bill, transgender rights legislation, and most of the other items advocated by the Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's LGBT lobby." For more about Díaz Jr., see Díaz Unites Bronx Democrats in Race for Borough President by David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, April 20, 2009.

About the same-sex marriage issue in general, there's a very informative page titled Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships on the New York Times site, containing links to many articles on this topic, including not only New York Times articles but also the "Same-Sex Marriage Navigator," a "list of resources from around the Web about same-sex marriage as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times." One article not listed there is the New York Times City Room blog post, On a Matter of Marriage in New York by Sewell Chan, May 8, 2009, discussing the history of some relevant legal issues.

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