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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) in New York State

NY politicians comment on the Marriage Equality law

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The acronym LGBT refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
and transsexual communities. SSM refers to same-sex marriage.

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This topic continues from a previous essay

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Reactions to the passage of the law by state senators and representatives:

  • sad face State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz was the only Democrat Senator to vote against the same-sex marriage bill. On 2011-JUL-07, he posted the following message on his website under the title: "Unashamed to be a Christian." We normally prune quotations down to a 500 word maximum in order to be within the "fair use" copyright laws. However, in this case, every paragraph was important in this essay and so we left it unedited.

    "On June 24th I voted my conscience and opposed Governor Andrew Cuomo's key piece of social legislation in the New York State Senate that redefines our marriage laws away from the traditional definition of one man and one woman. I was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against this legislation, and I wear my vote as a badge of honor.

    I have been congratulated by religious leaders and constituents not only from my district, but from districts all over New York State. I have received messages of encouragement and gratitude from people throughout the United States. Alberto Martinez tweeted: "Jesus said: 'Whoever is ashamed of Him and His words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of such person at His coming.' Bravo Senator Diaz." All of these supporters know that I am unashamed to be a Christian. If we talk the talk, we must walk the walk.

    Although Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos ushered the gay marriage vote to the floor in order to make the 11:00PM news, and even though the vote passed, the hatred that has spewed in my direction before June 24th continues.

    Yesterday I received a series of five emails in my Senate account from one person that read like homicidal rantings: "You eat shit. You are shit." "There is no worse person on Earth than you. God has told me so." "You worthless pile of human excrement!!!" "I hope you die! I hope you die soon! I'm waiting for you to die!" "Satan would sooner nail a stake through your heart than admit to knowing you. Your very own lover!!!"

    To err on the side of caution and especially since one of the messages awaits my demise, those emails were properly reported to the FBI.

    Those messages suggest that even though the gay marriage vote passed, that author did not get what he wanted which suggests to me that for some reason, I am the embodiment of his disappointment. He may also be upset because I am unashamed of my vote.

    Last Tuesday, a website posted an article titled: "Sen. Ruben Douchebag: I Made History." The tag labels that follow that online piece are as vulgar as possible. I quote them here not to amplify their vulgarity, but to let people know the ever-growing hatred freely expressed by those who claim to promote tolerance: "assholery, batshittery, bigotry, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, douchenozzles, evil, and f***weasels".

    I am amazed that the author of that site continues to fixate on me as he does. I was told that he even tweeted about me just one hour after the supposed May 21 rapture: "An hour past #Rapture in New York City and this town is still infested with Sen. Ruben Diaz and his filthy ilk. #Disappointed."

    For all intents and purposes I am a stranger to this person, yet for some reason I have his full attention. As a religious leader I thank the Lord that he continues to pay attention to my efforts to spread the Word of God. I hope and pray that since he seems to be a grown man, he will try to no longer promote vulgarity, indecency and hatred online or elsewhere.

    After the June 24 vote, so many people who disguise themselves as victims and decry bullies hide behind their computer screens and demonstrate what is called "keyboard courage" by posting hateful and vicious comments about me.

    In the great spirit of interfaith unity I will continue to work to promote what the late Pope John Paul II called the Culture of Life and continue to highlight the actions of the opposition which is still not pleased even with their declared victory in New York against traditional marriage.

    For my part, I will continue to be unashamed to be a Christian." 1

    Webmaster's note: With probably over 150 million Americans having access to Email, almost anyone can send any message to anyone else. This must include many nutcases. Still, the messages that Senator Diaz received were relatively mild compared to some of the Emails that we have received down through the years. The Emails that Senator Diaz quotes merely wish for his death. Many Emails that I, as the main author of this website have received, contain full details of my impending murder. ... all because I try to explain all viewpoints on each of hundreds of controversial topics. One example is:

  • "You people deserve to die a very painful death. If I was God, I would kill you all. If I ever see one of you anwywere I will smash your faces in and slit your throat to hear you gurgling on your blood. Ya know, one daysomeone is just gonna show up at your doorstep guns blazing and blow all your heads away."

    By way of clarification, I only have one head.

  • Louis Wilson is a reporter for the Star Gazette newspaper in Elmira, western NY. She spent the Fourth of July in New York City and was asked how upstate New Yorkers felt about the SSM law. She said:

    "I paused before I answered. I know how I feel about it and that's different than how some of my neighbors feel about it. I'm happy it passed, but I explained that many others are not.

    To me, gay marriage was and is a cut-and-dried civil rights issue. I believe that years from now, the next generations will look back at a time when gay marriage wasn't allowed and view it as we now view the Jim Crow laws of the Old South — antiquated and embarrassing for a country that believes all people are created equal."

She quoted a blog posting by one upstate senator and a verbal statement by another: 2

    • happy face Senator Thomas Duane (D) voted for the SSM bill, He wrote on his blog:

      "Today's actions eliminated one of the last remaining hurdles to full (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) equality in New York state. I became the Senate's first openly gay and HIV positive member in 1999, and I remain the only one. At the time I was told achieving any form of LGBT equality in the Senate was impossible. History proved otherwise.

      "In 1999, New York enacted comprehensive hate crime legislation which sent a powerful message that violence and hate against LGBT New Yorkers will not be tolerated. In 2002, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act insured that no one could be denied employment, housing, credit, education and public accommodations simply because of their real or perceived sexual orientation. And just last year we passed the Dignity for All Students Act, which will combat the senseless bullying and harassment of our LGBT youth in the classroom. All with bipartisan support. After today, passage of GENDA (gender expression non-discrimination act) will be our state's next challenge and soon our next victory.

      It is true that today holds enormous historical significance and it must be proudly celebrated. The paradoxical truth is that what already exists and will not change, but for true legal recognition, is the commitment and love that is already the reality in so many of New York's families."

    • happy face Senator Mark J, Grisanti (R-Buffalo) commented before the vote:

      "I have come to believe that all New Yorkers should be entitled to the same 1,324 rights that come with a civil marriage. As an attorney, I analyzed the legislation and concluded that the amendments provide critical exemptions for religious institutions. Passage of this bill now rather than later ensures that these protections be included. I cannot deny anyone in my district and across New York the same rights I have with my wife."

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Celebrations one year later are discussed in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Ruben Diaz. "Unashamed To Be A Christian." New York Senate, 2011-JUL-07, at:
  2. Lois Wilson, "Same-sex marriage a civil rights victory," Star Gazette, 2011-JUL-08, at:

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 Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > NY > here

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Copyright © 2011 & 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2011-JUN-22
Latest update: 2012-SEP-04
Author: B.A. Robinson

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