Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rogue Democratic senator stands firm against marriage equality

PageOneQ | Rogue Democratic senator stands firm against marriage equality

Rogue Democratic senator stands firm against marriage equality

by Nick Cargo

New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz has sent out a mailer reiterating his negative stance in his state's ongoing marriage equality battle.

"I am still a Democrat," Diaz said in the missive. "And I will always be a Democrat." The Senator wrote against proposed budget cuts by Governor Paterson and added that he does not "support the matrimony of homosexual couples."

Diaz is part of a coalition of Democratic lawmakers that seek to prevent the issue of same-sex marriage from reaching the floor, even with the support of Gov. Paterson and the state's recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed outside its borders. In November, during an internal struggle for control of the Senate, Diaz said, "Just give it to me in writing that you will not bring the gay marriage to the floor and you got me." Diaz, along with "dissident Democrats" Sen. Carl Kruger and Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr., threatened what would otherwise be a commanding Democratic Senate majority, the first since 1965.

The mailer comes after a recent print ad was published by the Working Families Party in an appeal to the "Three Amigos" to unite with Senate Democrats to take full advantage of their majority:

Dear Senator Diaz and Senator-elect Espada:

For decades, our community has suffered under the failed leadership of the Republicans in Albany. People across New York voted to change that in November by electing a Democrat/Working Families majority in the State Senate for the first time in 43 years. Now we can finally look forward to a better education for our children, more healthcare, affordable housing and a real focus on all the issues that matter to working families. But only if you join the Democratic majority that we voted for.

Thousands of your constituents have signed petitions urging you to join the Democrats in the State Senate and be part of this new majority. In the past, you've fought for the economic justice Bronx residents deserve. Nothing is more important to that cause now than ensuring a Democratic Senate majority in January.

Other appeals to the breakaways to assure a firm Democratic majority have also been lodged by organizations such as SEIU and the Empire State Pride Agenda, including a multilingual mailing.

No comments: