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.


East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…


Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.


Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…


Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.


NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?


Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…


Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.


Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.