As the fiery Rev. Rubén Díaz Sr., a New York State Senator, thundered against same-sex marriage in the nation’s capital, his son, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., was about to do the very opposite. The younger Díaz was joining a wave of politicians who have recently reversed their positions in favor of gay marriage, but his father said he was unswayed by the momentum against him.
“Marriage is sacred. Marriage is an institution established by God and it should stay that way,” he said. “The majority is not always right. 2,000 years ago the majority chose the rabbi and rejected Jesus. Now, the majority are rejecting the Bible and not choosing Jesus. I know my conviction and I know I will not change my view. I could be only one in the whole world and I would not change my view.”
While selling his book at Princeton University earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defended moral opposition to gay marriage by asking, “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?” According to the Associated Press, Mr. Scalia said he wasn’t equating murder and homosexuality but rather making a logical argument entitled “reduction to the absurd,” but Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an openly gay candidate for mayor next year, wasn’t remotely satisfied with his explanation.
“It’s offensive!” Ms. Quinn exclaimed on Hardball yesterday evening. “Sexual orientation is who we are as people, it’s how we’re created if we’re the LGBT [community]. To compare that–even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise–to a heinous, horrible crime of murder? It’s just wrong. He can say it’s a slip of the tongue and that’s fine and we all of them; God knows I have. Just apologize. But don’t compare me to a murderer because I’m a lesbian. Just don’t do it. It’s wrong.”
Drugs & Marriage
President Barack Obama was clearly the biggest winner last night with his victory over Mitt Romney, but there were two other notable victories in this election. Same-sex marriage and openly gay candidates won in multiple states as did initiatives to allow for medical and recreational marijuana.
Strongly Worded Letters
A few days ago, Rabbi Noson Leiter of Torah Jews for Decency said Hurricane Sandy brought a “divine justice” upon New York State as retribution for legalizing same sex marriage. To prove his point Rabbi Leiter pointed to the storm damage in Lower Manhattan, which he referred to as “one of the national centers for homosexuality,” to make his point. In a statement released this afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who led the push for New York’s gay marriage legislation last year, took issue with the remark.
“The comments made by Rabbi Noson Leiter that sought to link the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy to our state’s embrace of marriage equality are as offensive as they are ignorant,” Mr. Cuomo said. “This catastrophic storm claimed the lives of more than forty New Yorkers. This kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in our public discourse, and is particularly distasteful in times of tragedy.”
doma in a coma
This afternoon, a New York federal appeals court struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, which excluded federal benefits from same-sex couples in states recognizing such marriages. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, both loud advocates in favor of gay marriage, blasted out a rare joint statement approving the legal decision.
“Today’s decision affirms that DOMA deprives same sex couples of equal protection under the law,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has had an infamously frosty relationship with the New York State Senate Democratic Caucus, but things may be starting to turn around a tad.
Almost exactly a month ago, Mr. Cuomo issued a small string of endorsements to three incumbent Senate Democrats, but all of them were in heavily Democratic districts where the outcomes would not affect the overall partisan makeup of the legislative body. This morning, however, Mr. Cuomo went in a different direction and endorsed an endangered incumbent, Senator Joe Addabbo, before a crowd of Columbus Day parade-goers on 5th Avenue.
After Election Day earlier this month, Republicans who supported New York’s same sex marriage legislation received mixed results against their anti-gay marriage rivals. One GOP senator, Buffalo’s Mark Grisanti, cruised to a comfortable victory, while two other senators, Roy McDonald and Steve Saland faced tough challenges, the result of which was determined by the absentee ballots counted this week. Mr. Saland looks like he ultimately edged out his opponent and declared victory yesterday, but Mr. McDonald appears to have gone down in defeat.
And, asked about these Republicans’ respective electoral situations earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was more than pleased despite being a Democrat.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had been to the Democratic National Convention three times before, but this year’s event was different. These days, Ms. Quinn is widely seen as the front-runner in next year’s race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In May, just 10 days after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, instantly making it one of the hottest topics of this election cycle, Ms. Quinn married her longtime partner Kim Catullo in a wedding that received almost Kardashian-esque coverage from New York’s political press corps and made her one of the highest-profile married, openly gay politicians in the country.
With her newfound notoriety, it would seem, the stars are aligning for Ms. Quinn to follow Mr. Bloomberg’s footsteps as the most prominent mayor in the country. However, she will first have to cut her path to City Hall through a crowded field of opponents and a Council that may include members eager to exact revenge on the outgoing speaker, while also battling the persistent impression she is a political stand-in, a Medvedev to Mr. Bloomberg’s Putin.
Love & Marriage
CHARLOTTE, NC — Evangelist leader Gary Bauer told Politicker his pro-Romney super PAC, Campaign for American Values, won’t just be running one ad attacking President Barack Obama for supporting same sex marriage. Mr. Bauer says the “New Morning” ad is only running in North Carolina during the Democratic National Convention, but that commercial just the beginning of a larger campaign aimed at using the President’s position on gay marriage to drive votes to Mitt Romney in several crucial swing states.
“We plan on running that ad and others like it in a number of swing states,” said Mr. Bauer.
Love & Marriage
GASTONIA, NC — A super PAC with ties to evangelist leader Gary Bauer is trying frighten would-be Obama supporters in at least one Southern swing state by raising the specter of the President’s support for gay marriage. The “Campaign for American Values” has launched a pro-Mitt Romney television campaign with an ad warning viewers that ”Obama trying to force gay marriage on this country.”
In the commercial, which is entitled “New Morning,” a couple wakes up to coffee and the threat of legalized same sex marriage as they peruse the morning paper.
“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s not the change I voted for,” one of them says,
“That’s not the change I voted for either,” the other agrees.
The ad closes with a narrator advising the couple to ward off this potential onslaught of married gay couples by voting “for someone with values” as the words “VOTE ROMNEY/RYAN” appear on the screen.