Ruben Diaz: Senator leads charge against gay marriage

Gay marriage advocates say Sen.?Diaz is enemy No. 1 in their fight.

One of the loudest voices in the state’s fight over gay marriage is right here, in New York City.

A bill to legalize gay marriage was introduced Tuesday in the state Assembly. But Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. is marshalling his forces in opposition: Diaz will hold a “rally to protect marriage” Sunday.

“There’s nobody else who does this,” said Dirk McCall, executive director of the Bronx Community Pride Center, the offices of which are located around the corner from where Diaz will rally. “Even the other people who vote against us don’t organize rallies and protest against us.”

“He’s the most vocal senator in the state against marriage equality,” added Anthony Brown, executive director of the Wedding Party, a marriage education organization.

Critics have accused Diaz of planning the rally to overshadow the annual New York AIDS Walk, which will also be held Sunday in Manhattan, a charge Diaz denies.

Diaz, who told The New York Times he has two gay brothers, says he is not homophobic and is only speaking out on behalf of New Yorkers who don’t want legal gay marriage.

But Marjorie Hill, head of Midtown’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis, said the rally will not help people accept gays, which would help blunt the impact of AIDS. “We are distressed that Sen. Diaz would focus his attention on increasing homophobia,” she said.

McCall said his members plan to attend and counterprotest Diaz on Sunday, although most will be at the AIDS Walk in Central Park.

Diaz, a pastor who has been a senator since 2002, said he expects thousands will attend his rally on Sunday, which he said is to, “oppose proposals to redefine the definition of marriage to include homosexual marriage.” He also said that the rally was not meant to intrude on the AIDS Walk.

Is now the time?

This is the fourth time Manhattan Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell has introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gov. Cuomo promised to prioritize a gay marriage bill. Advocates say this is the year for passage.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Ditka calls Redskins team name critics 'politically correct…

Mike Ditka, the 74-year-old 11-season coach of the Chicago Bears and 3-season coach of the New Orleans Saints, may be endangering his position as an…

National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Television

'MasterChef' open tryouts are coming to NYC

Home cooks, sharpen your knives. Tryouts are coming for the sixth season of the reality show that challenges ordinary chefs to rise to restaurant standards.…

Movies

Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…