Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VIDEO: New York Sen. Ruben Diaz Faces Heat for His Opposition to Marriage Equality

Yesterday, I wrote about anti-LGBT New York Sen. Ruben Diaz and his vapid interview with the New York Times in which he attempts to defend his position of opposing marriage equality.

I've got gay family and friends, he exclaims. How can I be a homophobe? Since I already said my piece about his interview (and on his other ignorant actions against LGBT citizens), I'll let Nathaniel Frank at the Huffington Post say more.
Díaz never offers an argument against gay marriage. "The people of the nation don't want gay marriage," he told the Times. But then he argues the issue should not even come to a vote. If the people don't want equality, why shouldn't their representatives be able to express that will democratically, after debate, in the senate chamber? More to the point, why should the rights of a minority be granted only at the whim of a majority vote? Was it right in an earlier era to deny blacks and women equal rights just because the majority of the nation wished to do so?


In addition to the majority tyranny argument, Díaz offers his Pentecostal religion as the reason for his effort to deny gay couples the right to marry. "My religion doesn't allow me to dance," he says, "but that does not mean I don't go to the party. My religion doesn't allow me to drink. But that doesn't mean I can't hang around with my friends. My religion is against gay marriage. It means, I don't agree with what you do. But let's go out. Let's go to the movies. Let's be friends."

Okay, where to start? It's fine, Senator Díaz, for you not to dance, but are you leading the effort to make dancing for others illegal? It's fine for you not to drink, but where is your fierce leadership on reviving that super popular and effective age of Prohibition? It's fine for you not to get gay-married, but why insist on denying others the rights you enjoy? And where is your outrage about all the Jews and Muslims and atheists who are legally allowed to get married even though, according to your religion, they're all going straight to hell? And where is your righteous effort to outlaw Jews' right to observe the Sabbath on the "wrong" day, or to keep Kosher? Might that seem a bit anti-Semitic? And maybe a bit absurd?

So, about this notion that you can ban others' rights because your religion "doesn't agree" with what they do: Have you ever given a moment of thought to how stupid this sounds? Millions and millions of people get married every year in this world. You have no idea what they all do and I bet you don't really care, so long as they're straight. But one thing you can be sure most of them do at one point or another is violate the tenets of their own (and your) religion. To be morally and intellectually consistent, don't you need to give a litmus test to all of them, about "what they do," to determine if you support their right to marry? Or just the gays?
But it wasn't just Hawthorne and me who were pissed yesterday. After it became apparent that the Senate was going to ignore the marriage bill AGAIN, some people had a few choice words for the senator as he left the chambers.

Like Hawthorne, I don't usually support the use of the word bigot against those who may feel they have valid reasons to vote against us. But in the case of Diaz, who can't seem to find a valid reason or even one that's masked in false logic, the word just may be appropriate.

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