Diaz Leads Thousands In March Against Same-Sex Marriage

Sunday, May 15, 2011

State Senator Ruben Diaz, prepares to lead marchers

Thousands of demonstrators rallied in the Bronx on Sunday in opposition to same-sex marriage. The event, which followed a march through the borough's streets, was organized by State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a long-time opponent of same-sex marriage.

"Cristo vive!" chanted many in the crowd as they marched through the streets -- "Christ lives." Some protesters held Bibles aloft, others held red and white balloons that were periodically released into the sky. At times, booming merengue music from a mobile sound system gave the march a celebratory feel, with demonstrators dancing and cheering.

One demonstrator, Bronx resident David Garcia, said passing a same-sex marriage bill would be "like giving a slap to God in the face and letting God know that 'We don't care about your morals, we don't care about your principles,'" said Garcia, who attends the House of Worship Christian Center.

Many insisted that they were not trying to condemn gays so much as reaffirm traditional marriage.

"We respect gay people,we are not discriminating [against] anyone. We do not have any prejudices against them. But we are against marriage between man and man, woman and woman," said Kittim Silva, a Pentecostal bishop.

Others indicated concern that society was not adequately resisting gay rights and suggested that politicians were pandering to liberal interests.

"It's a touchy situation," said a 77-year-old Irish-born Catholic from the Bronx, who only gave his name as Tom. "I was in the service 55 years ago, and there was homosexuals, but it was kept nice and quiet, behind closed doors. Fine, do your thing. But don't push -- they're pushing it down our throats today."

As demonstrators approached the Grand Concourse for their rally, they were met by a counter-protester, Carlos Archie, who is gay and carried a large sign reading "Equal Rights for Equal Taxpayers."

"They can do whatever they want to do, but when what they want to do trounces on my rights, then that's not right," said Archie, who lives in the Bronx. "I pay taxes just like they do and I deserve equal treatment under the law."

About fifteen other counter-protesters stood on a small hill overlooking the plaza, one of whom cried as she watched the large gathering of opponents. Among the group was Erica Diaz, the granddaughter of State Senator Diaz, who said she'd been kicked out of the Navy due to her sexual orientation. To her side was her girlfriend, Naomi Torres, who Diaz said she hoped to eventually marry -- but only if the laws changed in New York.

"There is no war in my family," said Diaz. "I respect my grandfather, I respect the fact that he’s a firm believer on what he thinks is right. However, I have my own opinion on this issue. Basically I believe we should all be given a chance to exercise our human right to marry the person we love."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage but says he won't introduce a bill in the state senate until he knows there's enough votes for it to pass.

State Senator Ruben Diaz, prepares to lead marchers
Most of the demonstrators were Hispanic churchgoers
Jewish demonstrators also joined the march
Musicians with the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, based in Pennsylvania
As demonstrators approached the Grand Concourse, they were greeted by Carlos Archie, a supporter of same-sex marriage
One supporter of same-sex marriage grew emotional, watching opponents congregate on the Grand Concourse
One supporter of same-sex marriage included Senator Diaz's granddaughter, Erica Diaz, who came with her partner, Naomi Torres
Opponents of same-sex marriage included young children
Rain didn't deter opponents, which numbered in the thousands


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Comments [37]


ok So where is the moral values? Is OK to marry a same sex person? To teach that to the kids? Where is our world going now those days? Everyone condemned Weiner for sexting is the same situacion we are telling our kids that everything that has to do with sex is OK, seriously we need to reconsider our moral values here.

Jun. 16 2011 12:57 PM
Randy King from LB CA

The insanity label rests squarely on the shoulder of those supporting the redefining of words just so an organized horde of miscreants can lend the appearance of acceptability to their depravity.

"When you belong to me you will hate what I hate"

May. 19 2011 11:46 AM
a g from n j

this pathetic moron has nothing better to do. i'm ashamed of having primitive fools who have a spanish speaking lineage ascribed to them, as i do,engage in this sort of base cultural atavism. this sort of mindset is rampant, in, the groups of people, who have a need to identify as latino or hispanic. how utterley sad and asinine. homophobia,speaks spanish all too well. what idiots do, in the name of god....

May. 18 2011 05:22 PM
Gus Bubaris from Port Washington

OK to marry you mother or brother or sister? Or to marry more than one person? Why not?

Ridiculous - draw the line - one man, one woman. That's it.

May. 18 2011 01:20 PM
Robin R. Lunn, M.Div. from

As the Executive Director for the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, a practicing Christian and Baptist, and a graduate of the oldest theological school in the country, I would pray that the religious voices of those who support marriage equality for LGBTQ people on religious grounds would get as much attention as those who have an exclusionary interpretation of scripture.

As clergy from all across the country gather this weekend in Washington, DC to participate in our civic obligation as citizens - meeting and speaking with our elected officials - I wonder if the same amount of coverage will be afforded our events as those of Senator Diaz, Westboro Baptist Church, or other fundamentalist Christians around the country. I wonder whether the October 29th "Many Voices, One Love" event being planned at the Riverside Church in NYC will get equal press and coverage as hundreds gather from around the country to dialogue on marriage, race and sexuality.

I call on WNYC and all other media outlets to uphold equal and unbiased coverage of this issue.

May. 18 2011 12:46 PM
Rev. Anna Taylor Sweringen from Brooklyn, NY

Just once I would like someone to ask Rev. Diaz if he knows what Jesus had to say on the subject. (answer: nothing). But he had a lot to say about love.

May. 18 2011 10:34 AM

What's with the "Cristo vive!" business? My understanding is that Jesus had nothing much to say about sexuality; he was more concerned with social and economic inequality. Wasn't Saul of Tarsus, d/b/a "Saint Paul", the homophobe in that bunch?

May. 18 2011 09:42 AM
marc from lower east side

a postscript:

the greatness of religions, the great contribution of these religious texts (of which the Bible is one (not the only one)) is not in the area of hatred (whether Islamic, Jewish, or Christian) or advocacy of violence, but in the idea of love and compassion, the enlightened values of forgiveness and treatment of all as valuable, the love of even those who are not close to us.

these values are hugely important, but can be taught outside of fundamentalist Christianity, and have been, in many other texts, both religious and otherwise, and ....

these particular Christians, need to return to a healthy set of values, especially if they desire to be good and moral people;
be loving, accepting, compassionate!

May. 18 2011 09:25 AM
marc diMinno from lower east side

It is shocking, but important to know that such ignorance, self-righteous ignorance, as demonstrated in the rally, the coverage, and the majority of the comments here, can exist in one of the most liberal and well-educated cities in the world.

People, please, understand that gay people are the same as everyone else, in that they are born with a sexual orientation, they want to love and form partnerships, and they have sex.

The Bible talks about ethics (fine, great, it is one of many great sources for this), as well as recommending barbaric practices like incest, murder, "an eye for an eye," etc; it talks about these latter far more than it damns same-sex relations. Eating crustaceans, wearing certain clothing and other practices we are not obsessed with now, are in this book called an "abomination."

So stop using this Bible, which is largely fantasy and mythology, as an excuse to parade your hatred and ignorance.

Gay people are citizens with full and equal rights, and any discrimination against them is unconstitutional.

Marriage may well be more honored by gays than by straights who cheat, who divorce, often multiple times. If you want to protect marriage and the institutions of society, stop cheating, abusing, raping, and molesting (since straights not only are a majority, they commit these more, and some studies suggest that they commit these with in a greater proportion than gays).

The only strength straight bigots have is numbers - gays are a minority. Politicians abuse and corrupt their power by trying to pose as moral leaders when in fact those very pretenders, as in the case of Senators (usually Republican, usually self-righteous bigots, as in the case of former Senators Ensign, Gingrich, Craig, Vitter, are the destroyers of ideals of both marriage and government.

Anti-gay protesters, look to your own sins and faults and correct them before trying to scapegoat those who want respect of their civil equality.

Gays who want to recognition of their unions are building societal stability and morality, not threatening it.
Haters, in 5, 10, 20 years, you will regret this behavior and thinking; you will see it as discrimination and bigotry, just as it was toward blacks not many years ago.

And you will join the truly ethical and moral in blessing us with your acceptance of us as your equals.

May. 18 2011 09:10 AM
James from New York, NY

The title of your article was COMPLETELY MISLEADING: it said "Thousands ralled for gay marriage" when, in fact, it was a rally AGAINST gay marriage. Have you not ethics at WNYC or at least the ability to distinguish between the pros and the cons? How are you at spelling and other grammatical issues?

May. 18 2011 01:04 AM

@Stuart from Oakland, CA

Here's another example of gay militant delusion ... or else gay-militant inspired gullibility ... exemplified in stuart's reckless and uninformed words in the comment below.

They portend nothing less than anarchy in the democratic state:

"... If we left these important issues up to the public there would be many issues that would still be questioned such as segregation, interatial (sic) marriage and women's right to vote to name a few. Think about it...."

It takes an awesome delusion to conclude that the general public cannot and will not discern the fundamental difference between advocacy for genuine civil rights as distinct from defending the illogic of "institutionalizing" a behavior-based psycho-sexual/mental disorder that has very negative social and personal consequences!

Stuart, the people voted with their feet on Proposition 8 ... and will do so again in New York. THAT is why Governor Cuomo is being misled so grievously on this issue!

See Reason 2 of 21 in the online article "Is Cuomo Ignoring the Evidence Against Gay Marriage?"

And thereafter read Kathleen Melonakos' "Why Isn't Homosexuality Considered a Disorder On the Basis of Its Medical Consequences?"

May. 17 2011 09:34 PM

@carolita from NYC

Carolita's reckless words vindicate Robert H. Knight who, years ago, at the beginning of this mess of "apathy and confusion" forced upon America by gay militancy, was forced to quote the evidenced-based research in the book “The American Sex Revolution”; By Ptirim Sorokin, Porter Sargent Publishers, Boston, 1956.

“As the research of the late Harvard sociologist Ptirim Sorokin reveals, no society has loosened sexual morality outside of marriage and survived. Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousand years on several continents, Sorokin found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about SOCIETAL COLLAPSE were preceded by sexual revolutions in which marriage and family were no longer accorded premiere status. To put it another way, as marriage and family ties disintegrated, the social restraints learned in families also disintegrated. ..."

So now Carolita provides living testimony to what the real goals of gay militancy are!

And as if that were not enough, readers should search for and read the equally enthralling 2005 article that illustrated just how far Sorokin's warnings have had predictive success. See the online article "From Playboy to Pedophilia: How Adult Sexual Liberation Leads to Child Sexual Exploitation".

Carolita should read the article "Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right" by Robert Regier and Daniel Garcia ... and be thereby advised about the repercussions of the obvious confusion that exists in her innocuous yet reckless words!

May. 17 2011 09:13 PM
Stuart from Oakland, CA

What can I say there are so many things wrong with this. People should have equal rights as long as you agree with them. The idea of equality is to insure the rights of everyone! Religion has nothing should have nothing to do with this issue. I do not care which religion others follow and I do not care what you believe in. As I recall it was against some religions to devorce. If we left these important issues up to the public there would be many issues that would still be questioned such as segregation, interatial marriage and women's right to vote to name a few. Think about it.

May. 17 2011 06:29 PM
carolita from NYC

I don't think even heterosexuals should be married by the state: they should only have civil unions, for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Marriage is a "holy rite" handled by the Church. States have no right to marry anyone. Let all states stop marrying anyone, then have all states respect all civil unions, and let people choose their churches as fits their needs, and you'll see religion begin to evolve.

May. 17 2011 06:09 PM
Frank Merritt from 10014

So, protect marriage: Outlaw divorce!

The government can outlaw divorce, can't it? No??? Well, then, how can it outlaw marriage?

May. 17 2011 04:44 PM

" ... "It's a touchy situation," said a 77-year-old Irish-born Catholic from the Bronx, who only gave his name as Tom. "I was in the service 55 years ago, and there was homosexuals, but it was kept nice and quiet, behind closed doors. Fine, do your thing. But don't push -- they're pushing it down our throats today."

Reason 9 of 11 in the online article "Is Cuomo Ignoring the Evidence Against Gay Marriage" points out the obvious fact:

"... When given the space to consider itself "normal, a psycho-sexual or mental disorder ALWAYS seeks to impose its madness on society ..."

America gave this disorder some space ...

May. 17 2011 12:53 AM
Wayne from WI precious......a divorced politician leading a rally to "protect the institution of marriage"! I can hear it now......"and our next speaker will be Newt Gingrich"!

May. 16 2011 11:32 PM

"equal rights for equal taxpayers"?
look at the dollar bill of the tax you say you are equally paying..
it says..
lol, its ironic :-)
passing it only proves
comandments and morals
and TRUSTED MORE about human hunger driven wants.. :-)

May. 16 2011 11:32 PM

If Governor Cuomo ... and his "supporters" ... cannot rebut the 21 arguments against "gay marriage" in the online article "Was Cuomo Misled on Gay Marriage?" then ... have they been misinformed on this issue?

11 of the 21 reasons are explicitly stated, while the others are cited in the FRC's "Ten Arguments Against Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage".

May. 16 2011 06:16 PM

Why does this report say "thousands" when other media reports say "hundreds." Why no report of the 40,000+ who participated in the AIDS walk? I guess hate always scores bigger headlines than love. It is shame.

May. 16 2011 05:58 PM
mbw from SoBro

The senator is not forthcoming about colonial Hispanic culture. The Spaniards arrived, they found no willing women, they picked out pretty boys and so it continues to this day, along with the denial in the barrios of el Norte. This is the basis of your bigotry, senator. You are a maricon, big time.

May. 16 2011 04:56 PM
Mason from NYC

If Mr. Diaz wants to be a minister, then he should do so. If Mr. Diaz wants to be a citizen represenative in Albany, then that is what he should do. The jobs are mutually exclusive. I want my elected officials to make CIVIL law. If I want church law, I will go to a church. The Old Testament and the New Testaments are simply mythological treaties and have no more validity in the 21st Century than do Greek or Roman religious mythology. I am sick of these jerks who want govenment out of their lives but continue to push government into my life.

May. 16 2011 04:43 PM
SM from Red Hook, NYC

Ya, know, ya gotta ask "WWJD" ... and the suggested answer: the same he gave the Pharisees about the woman who married 7 brothers ... it does not matter in heaven. Love is love, G_d created us all as we are: semi-attracted to both sexes. Marriage is a legal institution that has tended to bless procreational sex. As a legal institution, as our seeming genetic homophobia subsides, we CAN change it. On a practical side, it raises money for the state. So stop yer bellyachin' and cover something else. I am a card-carrying Christian, and Jesus loves everyone, as they are, where they are, what they are. If G_d can do that, who are we to judge?

May. 16 2011 04:37 PM
James Gedge from Shokan, NY

Ridiculous that you put a story about this misguided man and his mission, and nothing about the AIDS walk with 40,000 participants! Fix this situation please.

May. 16 2011 12:47 PM

We must understand that under the Constitution gay people do not have the right to marry but they do have the right to civil unions. The constitution basically protects marital institutions set by God and by religion.

May. 16 2011 12:32 PM

We must understand that under the Constitution gay people do not have the right to marry but they do have the right to civil unions. The constitution basically protects marital institutions set by God and by religion.

May. 16 2011 12:31 PM
Ocean from NYC

photo-essay: Anti-gay marriage demonstration

May. 16 2011 12:13 PM

If Governor Cuomo ... and his "supporters" ... cannot rebut the 21 arguments against "gay marriage" in the online article "Was Cuomo Misled on Gay Marriage?" then ... have they been misinformed on this issue?

Or ... are they willfully misleading others?

Have they read "Homosexuality is not a Civil Right" by Robert Regier and Daniel Garcia?

Have they considered the studied dissent ... both read and written ... by Justice Scalia in Lawrence vs. Texas, and offered sane and specific rebuttals to the following statement?:

"... This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review..."

Does "gay rights" ... and thereby "gay marriage" signal the end of the rational law? ... the end of reason?

May. 16 2011 10:52 AM
Miike from Brooklyn

I've heard that Senator Diaz is into young men. Sounds about right.

May. 16 2011 10:08 AM
mbw from da Heights

Grant Puerto Rico retroactive independence to 1898 and let this clown make his own living. His son, however, is a great guy.

May. 16 2011 10:08 AM
Lisa from UWS

I have heard this story repeated about 5 times this morning but ZERO coverage of the AIDS Walk New York which happened at the same time yesterday, drawing tens of thousands. Why coverage of a few hundred haters and not 40,000 marching to raise $ to help find a way to end AIDS?

May. 16 2011 08:33 AM
Will Morgan from NYC

Sorry, Senator, but given the theme of the rally, that's an awfully gay-looking outfit...

May. 16 2011 08:09 AM
Straight Nate from a conventional marriage between a man and a woman

I think folks are hung up on the sex part of being gay, and ignore the love part. Since support of same-sex marriage means support of same-sex sex, they are repulsed. They don't think of it as love, which, as usual, is in short supply in this world.

May. 16 2011 08:07 AM
Ed from NYC

I love how there are thousands of supporters of keeping marriage between a man and a woman and there are approximately 15 counter-demonstrators yet the counter-demonstrators are given equal time on air and equal weight in the reporting.

Can we do that next time there is a pro-gay marriage rally, WNYC? I bet not.

No, there's no such thing as liberal media, rrriiiggghhhtttt.....

May. 16 2011 07:39 AM
Julie from Chesapeake

I do not think people's sexual orientation is anyone's business. So what if they want to marry the same sex it is not up to us to judge them. Everyone wants to say it's about God and it's like a slap in his face? Well I think it is up to God to judge them and they will have to answer for their sins as will everyone else. I don't think it's right that the government have say so over something like this. If you don't like it turn your head their are by far worse things people eare doing like molesting their own children that need to be addressed not who we can love or marry. That is nobody's business!!!!

May. 16 2011 01:28 AM

Even FOX news put this event in the hundreds. Police estimate was 400. Somehow this paper decides it's "Thousands". Biased much?

May. 16 2011 01:25 AM

Utter insanity that people can utter something like this with a straight face (pun intended):

'We respect gay people,we are not discriminating [against] anyone. [...] But we are against marriage between man and man, woman and woman'

uhm, that IS discrimination.

Ignorance and hatred disguised as piety. Jesus would be unamused.

May. 16 2011 01:06 AM

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