Monday, May 16, 2011

Dueling Rallies (and Families) Fighting For Gay Marriage In New York

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who is a longtime opponent to gay marriage, led a rally in favor of traditional marriage in the Bronx.

That isn't all that surprising given that he and several of his fellow members of the State Senate oppose gay marriage in any formulation (civil unions/marriage).

However, his granddaughter has taken umbrage with his position. Erica Diaz has a personal stake in all this:
Erica Diaz, 22, a gay woman who is the senator’s granddaughter, wanted her grandfather’s supporters to know whom they were opposing.

“I am a Diaz; my family is very political,” said Ms. Diaz, whose pastel pink shirt stood in contrast to her grandfather’s bright white cowboy suit. “It is in my blood to stand up for what I believe in — regardless of who I am up against.”

Ms. Diaz’s supporters, far smaller than the raucous rally on the courthouse steps, numbered a couple of dozen, including her mother, sister and girlfriend.

They spun rainbow umbrellas in the rain and shouted through a bullhorn until a police officer said they did not have the proper permit.

It was years ago that Ms. Diaz told her grandfather that she was gay. The experience, she said, was a positive one. “He told me that regardless of my decision, he is my grandfather, and he loves me, and he respects me,” she recalled. “I respect the fact he believes what he believes.”
and she believes that her grandfather
still loves her, but he doesn't want her to get married to her companion.

At the same time, no one apparently wants to take the civil union approach. That's a compromise approach utilized in other states, but which doesn't have support of either the gay rights community or the Catholic Church, which sees this as simply marriage under a different guise.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made this a top priority for resolution in the current legislative session..

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