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04/15/2009

Dolan publicly bashes our civil equality? Fine. Paterson supports same? DISRESPECT!!!!!

by Jeremy Hooper

Speaking about tomorrow, the day that Gov. David Paterson plans to introduce a marriage equality bill, New York's biggest senatorial fairness foe, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., shares the following thoughts with the Daily News:

In a brief telephone interview this morning, Diaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister who has long been vocal in his opposition to gay marriage, questioned Paterson's timing and called it "ridiculous," particularly given the fact that this is the week Archbishop Timothy Dolan is being installed in his new job.

"I think this is the wrong time to do it," Diaz Sr. said. "(Paterson) is doing this as a welcoming ceremony for the new Catholic? It's ridiculous."

In the press release announcing tomorrow's meeting at the Christian Community Neighborhood Church, the Bronx Democrat went even further, calling the governor's move "disrespectful, and adding: "If I were Governor Paterson, I would abstain from going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the welcoming ceremony and to celebrate Mass.”Diaz Sr: Timing On Gay Marriage Bill 'Ridiculous' [NY Daily News]

Yes, because one really should consult the local calendars of every faith denomination before introducing CIVIL legislation.  Pushing for tax reform?  Well ya better make sure it's not shuvuot.  Taking up term limits?  Then you must first swing by the Scientology Center and check to see if there are any super-important auditing Diaz going on.  Pushing for congestion pricing? Fine, but first ya gotta see if the Baptists and Methodists have enough left over after they've tithed to pay the new tolls.  And if you don't check with all of these groups before pushing your CIVIL legislation, then you are both "ridiculous" and "disrespectful," and should stay away from all local houses of worship.  Because, after all, your harsh religious insensitivity will have made you God's number one political archenemy.

Uhm, yea -- NO.  The truth is that both Ruben Diaz Sr. and Archbishop Dolan wish to use their personal faith beliefs to stop our CIVIL freedoms, and they wish to do so 365 days a year.  It may be convenient to shun Paterson as some sort of anti-Catholic because he's "ridiculous" enough to think that (a) his gay constituents deserve CIVIL equality and (b)  that this particular week is a good time to make that happen.  But in reality, it's Ruben Diaz Sr. who is dishing the true disrespect.  Disrespect towards church/state separation.  Disrespect towards deserving gay families.  Disrespect towards the concept of God, an unimaginable power who we'd imagine is comfortable enough in his or her own all-knowing skin to be offended by state political matters. Disrespect towards the countless Catholics who support LGBT rights (and who are sick of being made to feel badly for doing so).  Disrespect towards ANYONE who's tired of socially conservative politicians who will pull out every disingenuous stop in order to get their undeserved way. 

Sen. Diaz: Fight us on our merits, in the Senate chamber.  Fair enough.  But please do us all a favor and stop this false reliance on conveniently timed religious goings-on.  You don't hear us making a stink because WNBC's local Dolan coverage rescheduled "Days of Our Lives," do you? 

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