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05/13/2011

Sen. Ruben Diaz ultimately gay-married NOM, but Liberty Counsel held his heart first

by Jeremy Hooper

As New Yorkers prepare to ignore the rally he's co-hosting with the National Organization For Marriage, or push back against it in protest, or drag up an effigial representation of the state senator who's hosting it, we want to take a second and look back at the bit of anti-gayness on which New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. first made his name. For that, we must journey back to the summer/fall of 2003 -- a time when Jennifer Lopez was the one being judged for Gigli, when absolutely no one in this country was clamoring to see a picture of Osama bin Laden, when "birther" and "tea party" still sounded like labels more befitting a baby shower than a cable news debate, and when Sen. Diaz was filing suit in NY Supreme Court for the sole purpose of stopping a school designed to help LGBTQ kids who had had trouble in other public schools. And not just any lawsuit, either, but one for which Sen. Diaz sought the legal aid of the very far-right, very anti-gay, very hyperbolic Liberty Counsel:

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We modern "culture war" watchers of course no Liberty Counsel as the group so conservative that they lashed out against the Prop 8 proponents for not being anti-gay/pro"ex-gay" enough. But it's not like LC was any less anti-gay/pro-"ex-gay" back in the day. The group was just as fully pushing "hope for homosexuals" as they are now:

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But this is the crew with whom Ruben Diaz chose to get in bed. With whom he, then a first term state senator who'd only been in office for seven months at the time of filing, chose to build a state and national reputation.

Telling, isn't it?

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