Rev. Ruben Diaz, an outspoken Democratic senator from the Bronx, just issued a statement that accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo of crossing a line by advocating for gay marriage during Holy Week. Diaz, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, said he was responding to news reports of Cuomo’s “excessive pressure to mobilize elected officials to legalize homosexual marriage in New York State.”
A coalition of gay-rights groups announced today that it is launching an aggressive campaign to get legislation passed and will target lawmakers who are opposed to same-sex marriage. Members of New Yorkers United for Marriage have been meeting with members of Cuomo’s staff. The Democratic governor has said getting gay-marriage legislation passed this session is a priority.
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage has passed the Democrat-led Assembly twice before. The Senate voted it down in 2009 with the help of eight Democrats who voted no. None of the 30 Republicans voted for it. For the bill to be successful this year, it would need support from some of the 32 Republicans in the Senate. Democrats are in the minority with 30 members.
This is Diaz’ full statement:
“I am deeply offended that during this Holy Week, which is a most sacred time to millions of New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo is working hard to mobilize elected officials to legalize homosexual marriage in New York.
“We all know that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget, which was done in haste to beat the clock, will cause tremendous suffering to countless New Yorkers – especially Black and Hispanic communities. His cuts will hurt students, senior citizens, the sick, the poor and the needy.
“Now Governor Cuomo is targeting communities of faith in an effort to redefine marriage. The most basic tenets of New York’s largest faith communities include defining marriage as between one man and one woman. These religions that cherish these values include Catholic, Christian, Jewish and Muslim.
“I must ask, if Governor Cuomo is ethically allowed to use public resources during these serious financial times to raise funds (by having his staff raise money) and to use his staff (who are paid for with tax dollars) and his office (for weekly meetings) to promote a radical agenda, then shouldn’t we all be able to use our offices and staffs to raise resources for issues that matter to us?
“I implore my colleagues in New York’s government and my fellow religious leaders in New York State to oppose Governor Cuomo’s blatant and shameful attack on New York’s people of faith. I encourage all New Yorkers of faith to raise your voices in prayer and in action to prevent Governor Cuomo from redefining marriage.”