Loud-Mouthed Homophobes Have Made Gay Violence Acceptable for Too Many

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM

As NYPD detectives proceed with some of their best investigative work and more information about the brutal bias assault in the Bronx is revealed, we can anticipate that the gory details in this case will continue to sicken us.

The atrocity has united the majority of reasonable New Yorkers to condemn the savagery allegedly perpetrated by nine cowards on three males in the Bronx. NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and local elected officials have all expressed indignation with the bias attacks.

As is typical with denunciations of these types, when we are all shown the worst of human behavior, city leaders appear to be reading from the same script. The joint censure of the repugnant act of forced sodomy can almost be anticipated, and it has to be heard by the entire planet. However, lost in their rush to voice quotable sound bites for the available cameras, mikes, recorders and reporters’ pens, is any condemnation of those among their ranks whose homophobic rants have created this climate in which venomous serpents roam the streets of this great city.

Let me point to the elephant in the room: Every individual involved in this odious crime is Latino. The vile act occurred in the poorest congressional district in the nation. All of the elected officials at the municipal, state, and federal levels representing the neighborhood where the crime was committed are Puerto Rican and Dominican.

Of these elected officials, the most vociferous anti-LGBT person in the Bronx is Rubén Díaz. The state senator has built his political career by vilifying the LGBT community at every turn.

That has been noticed by many, including Ephraim Cruz, who said, “[Díaz] has made incendiary remarks and hostile statements against gays. While he may not have physically abused people, his statements often fall on the ears of a vulnerable group like these young people, and they do have an impact.”

According to 37 year-old Cruz, who was born and raised in The Bronx, where he still resides, Díaz has been obsessive and offensive about his opposition to same-sex marriage for years. He has relished in his degradation of those who seek equal status under the law. “Senator Díaz can’t address the problems he’s helped to stoke,” says Cruz.

And yet, no critics have made the connection between the crime and the terrain, which has been poisoned against gays for so long by Rubén Díaz.

The failure to connect the dots — whether intentional or not — irked Cruz even more when he read the following statement from Senator Díaz’ son, who just happens to be Borough President of the Bronx: "Bronxites will not tolerate any form of bigotry in our borough, and we stand together as 1.4 million residents to condemn these actions and to oppose hatred in all its forms.”

Cruz took exception with that and said, “The Reverend/Senator verbally bashes gays and the son says nothing to him, but when gays are physically bashed, [Ruben Diaz, Jr.] acts like no one has been paying attention and calls the physical perpetrators names,” Cruz said.

Cruz, who is Co-Founder of Bronx for Change, goes on to tell Borough President Díaz, “The biggest bigot in the Bronx is your father.”

Given Senator Díaz’ obsessive opposition to same-sex marriage and his unrelenting homophobic antics, one has to wonder why Andrew Cuomo and his campaign spokespersons have not criticized the fellow Democrat — who, in addition to his homophobic stance, was also a key member of the ‘Amigos’ foursome that led to so much disarray in Albany.

On Sunday, Cuomo’s campaign was quick to issue a statement condemning Carl Paladino’s criticism of Cuomo's meeting with rabbis in Brooklyn. Paladino’s anti-gay declaration was read from written remarks and his hosts applauded them. Senator Díaz thus far has never needed prepared statements in order to make his outrageous gay verbal bashes. But on this issue, we haven’t heard a word of criticism from the presumptive next Governor.

Most people know that violence usually progresses from verbal abuse to physical abuse. We have no evidence of a direct connection between those accused of the crime and the biggest loudmouth homophobe in the state. However, it's probably more than a coincidence that Rubén Díaz’ hateful diatribes found a fertile place in the mushy brains of these cowards in the Bronx.

Gerson Borrero is a columnist for El Diario La Prensa and blogs at


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Comments [8]

Bruce Egert from NJ

The vast majority of Jews DO NOT subscribe to Palladino's views of gay rights, contrary to the ultra-religious which are but a small but identifiable segment of NY's Jewish population. Gay rights are the civil rights issue of our time. Most Jews support these rights including gay marriage.

Oct. 13 2010 04:30 PM
Vicente Alba-Panama from Bronx NY

Gerson. I am honored to have you as a friend because you have the spine to speak truth to power. It seems to me that while many were salivating about the downfall of the gang that hijacked Albany, Ruben Diaz Sr was not in the mix. His crimes are not just the jijacking of NYS government but the bigotry, fobias and othe ill will he promotes with a collar from the pulpit. Many ignore the candidacy of Charly Ramos against him this past primary. I do not know enough to coment on what mistakes Mr Ramos campaign did or did not make. I do know that the political machinery that has elevated and maintained Mr Diaz as a political powerhouse must be held accountable. I also know that the electorate, the voters must face up to our culpability

Oct. 13 2010 10:16 AM
Mimi from BRONX


Oct. 12 2010 10:01 PM

@Ironbound - You're right, we need a new word to describe people who find LGBT persons to be aberration. You're not SCARED of gay people! You just hate them for defying your interpretation of God's will. So, we need an equivalent of the word "misogyny," but for LGBT people.

Misohomony? Misogaymy? What derogatory label would you prefer? Maybe once we label it correctly, we can educated people in this country to cull of the kind of hateful ideology indicated by your "gays have AIDS" comment.

Oct. 12 2010 05:36 PM
Luis A. Ramos from Bushwick, Brooklyn

From The Start Of the Carlos Ramos Jr. Campaign I Noticed That The Democratic Structure In The Bronx Were Staying Away from the Race Between Diaz Sr And Charlie. As The Race Dregged On Not One Word from Future Governor Candidate Cuomo On The Homophobia Of His Political Collegue Diaz Sr. I Have Said All Along, Why Was Nothing Said, And Now that This issue has become the Focal point of the governor's Race, True To Form Every Candidate Has An Opinion, Of Which We Know Are Like A-Holes, Everyone has One. People Die From The Silence That Seems To Creep Into Races. People Are Hurt For lack of Leadership. Leadership That Should Have Been On Top Of This Issue, Even When The Leader's Are Campaigning and Even More Crucial, While They Are campaigning. It Just Goes To Show Us Their Real Concern's When They Get Elected Will Be That, No Concern At All.

Oct. 12 2010 02:12 PM
Ironbound from New Jersey

What is this word "Homo-phobia?" Phobia means "fear" or "afraid of." People who feel homosexuality is an aberration in humans are not "afraid" of homosexuals or their sex lives. Let's give that one a rest.

Also let's look at NYC. It has the highest rate of new AIDS infections among homosexuals in the USA. Can we address that?

This is supposed to be a "civil" discourse on here. The use of the scatalogical term "turd" is not civil; name calling is a Middle School issue.

Oct. 12 2010 10:40 AM

Ruben Diaz opposed adding gays to hate crime legislation that already covered Christians he also opposed non-discrimination legislation that protected gays. He made his career by claiming the Gay Games would spread AIDS.

In short, he's a bigoted turd.

Oct. 12 2010 02:33 AM
Karol from NYC

Can you give some examples of these diatribes? I knew he was fervently against gay marriage but this is the first I hear of diatribes. Just curious. Perhaps you can post a link?

Oct. 12 2010 12:44 AM

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