Anti-Gay State Senator Chooses Opposition to Marriage Equality Over Party

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Hey Rubin, no one's asking <i>you</i> to get gay married. Seriously, no one.
Photo: Getty Images

State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., who represents portions of the Bronx, has a history of fighting gay causes. In 1994, Diaz complained that the Gay Games, which were hosted in New York that year, would lead to an increase in AIDS and increase tolerance of homosexuality by young people. This led the Civilian Complaint Review Board, on which Diaz served, to publicly disavow his comments. In 2003 he sued to stop the expansion of the Harvey Milk School, which provides a safe haven for persecuted gay teens. Diaz, a Pentecostal minister, has always been against gay marriage. In 2007, after the State Assembly passed a bill to legalize it, Diaz issued a statement calling out each Hispanic legislator who supported it, by name. This week, he announced that his opposition is so strong that he's ready to hang his membership in the State Senate Democratic caucus on this one subject. "Just give it to me in writing that you will not bring the gay marriage to the floor and you got me," Diaz told the Post, presumably addressing incoming Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. The Democrats will hold a one-person majority in the state body as of right now, so Diaz's position is extremely important.

In August we learned that more gay families with children live in the Bronx, which includes Diaz's district, than anywhere else in the city. At the time we wondered why. Now we're wondering why they don't vote him out of office.

ROGUE POL: NIX GAY NUP [NYP]