March 22, 2004
To the Editor:
In response to your article entitled “State Senator Explains Rally Role,” by Mick Meenan (Mar. 18-24), Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr. is nothing but a small-minded bigot. His attempts to shroud his prejudice in the cloak of Christianity are insulting to me as a fellow Christian and are also contrary to Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness. Mr. Diaz’s watered-down rhetoric does not undo his inflammatory comments in the past regarding homosexuality and AIDS, which were not only insensitive, but downright hateful. I find it appalling that he uses his political clout to further marginalize and demonize gays and lesbians.
Rev. Diaz’s statements that gays and lesbians are welcome in his church are akin to the “welcome” that African Americans received during the civil rights era, i.e., having to use public water fountains and bathrooms separate from whites. Do the gays and lesbians sit at the back of his church? He is no doubt on a mission to take away as many rights as possible from gays and lesbians.
I suggest that Rev. Diaz study the following biblical passages: “Those without sin shall cast the first stone;” “Judge and ye shall be judged;” “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “That you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”
Perhaps he will learn the true lessons of Christianity.
Diego M. Santiago
To the Editor:
For someone appealing for civility, Assemblymember Deborah Glick sure can sling some shit (“An Appeal for Civility in the Marriage Debate,” letter, Apr. 15-21).
Her letter detailing her decade of political exploits was fascinating. But it never dealt with substance of my criticisms of her bizarre civil marriage legislation: it is a piece of politically motivated hogwash intended to shield Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, to whom she is politically indebted, from having to deal with same-sex marriage, by making the community seem divided about the issue when it simply is not. Funny how in 500 words she never got around to denying that.
Glick may be uncomfortable that I pointed out that Silver’s Orthodox Judaism informs his politics, but many of his constituents are members of very conservative branches of his faith––and none too happy about gay people, gay rights, or gay marriage. While Silver has been generally supportive of our community in the past (his district does include the East Village, after all), supporting same-sex marriage would be unpalatable to his Orthodox and Hasidic constituents on the Lower East Side.
And by the way, I’m well aware of Glick’s “history” as a legislator: as the news editor of Outweek magazine during her campaign, I helped put her in office. She didn’t seem so down on my knowledge of civil rights movements in this country back then.
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