Monday, December 22, 2008

Diaz fans the flames

The "christian" bigot speaks out

The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

December 22, 2008
Elizabeth Benjamin

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who infuriated gay advocates for tying his state Senate leadership vote to the issue of same-sex marriage, released a statement yesterday praising Barack Obama for picking Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation - a move that is unlikely to improve the conservative Democrat's standing with the LGBT community.

By selecting Warren, the Evangelical pastor of the Saddleback Church and an opponent of what Diaz refers to as "homosexual marriage," the president-elect has "set an example that many leaders of the Democratic Party should follow," the senator said.

Some in the gay community have deemed Obama's selection of Warren, who publicly supported Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban gay marriage, as tantamount to "endorsing bigotry." Both Obama and Warren have defended the decision.

Diaz sees Obama's move as something more personal - a confirmation of sorts that anti-same-sex marriage, anti-abortion rights Democrats like himself have a role to play in the party.

"Obama has sent a message to the world that 'Yes We Can' has a Democratic Party where everyone should be included," Diaz continued. "It has been the belief that the Democratic Party is owned exclusively by certain groups, and if you do not believe in nor follow the ideology of these groups and their agendas, then you will be a registered outcast. You will never be invited to official Party activities. You will not get their support, and they call you names and do everything possible to push you out of the Democratic Party."

"To some people, if you oppose homosexual marriage and abortion, you are not a Democrat and you are certainly not be invited to deliver an inaugural invocation."

"To those people, it does not matter how hard you fight to protect human services by creating job opportunities for your community, bringing low income housing to the poor, fighting against the closing of health services, protecting the immigrants, and opposing the Governor of the State of New York and the Mayor of the City of New York for cutting needed services when they try to balance their budgets on the backs of the poor and less fortunate families and senior citizens."

"By rejecting the call to dis-invite Reverend Warren and by welcoming him to deliver the inauguration ceremony’s invocation in Washington, DC, Barack Obama has sent a message of inclusion...that we should be welcome all the time, not only to be used when they want our votes, support and participation in coalitions to benefit others.

The time has come for a change. The Democratic Party should not be a party of only two issues: Abortion and homosexual marriage. Everybody should be accepted: Orthodox Jews, Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Muslims, and those with religious beliefs that oppose abortion and homosexual marriage. YES WE CAN!

Thank you, President-Elect Obama for setting the example."

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