Diaz to Duane: On gay marriage votes, put up or shut up


Times Union, June 3, 2009

Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., the Senate’s most ardent opponent of gay marriage, has just released the following message to gay marriage bill lead sponsor Tom Duane:

“If  Senator  Tom  Duane  has  the necessary Senate votes to pass the homosexual  marriage  bill  in New York State, then he should release the  names of those Senators who are supporting the bill.  If not, he should  shut  up.  If any member of the State Senate is so ashamed to have  their  names released or to release their own names for this or for  any pending legislation, then they clearly feel ashamed of their position.

If  any Senators are unwilling to release their names prior to voting for the homosexual marriage bill, they are sending a clear message to the  gay  community  and  to  the  whole State of New York that these Senators  are  unwilling  to  let  the  public know and that they are ashamed to be publicly associated with the gay community.

Any  Senator  who  commits himself or herself to something, should be man  or  woman  enough  to  take  a  stand  and  stand  by his or her convictions.  If they give their word to support  something that they are ashamed of, then that is a hypocrisy, and could be interpreted as not wanting to be associated with the matter.

It  is  a  disgrace that Senator Duane is playing this mind game with his colleagues and  with the public.  If Senator Duane has the votes, he  should  release  the names.  If not, then he should be ashamed of himself. ”

Duane has said he has the votes to pass the bill right now; but that message has not yet been conveyed to Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who said he’ll put the bill to a vote when he thinks it will pass.

A NY1 survey found that 28 senators have said they will vote against a bill which would allow gay couples to receive marriage licenses. 20 said they would vote yes, 9 are undecided, and 5 could not reveal their position.