State Sen. Ruben Diaz has declared war on marriage equality in New York. As gay and lesbian couples marched down the aisle or stood before state officials as same-sex marriages began in the state, Diaz was leading one of the protest marches organized by the National Organization for Marriage.
“Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!” Diaz shouted after protestors marched from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to the United Nations.
That war contains a few strategies. One that probably won’t go anywhere was the centerpiece of the protests as participants shouted, “Let the people vote!” New York state, unlike California, has no referendum process, so it’s unlikely that a groundswell like California will succeed.
Religion was prominent in the marches with people singing hymns, waving Bibles and crying out, “Jesus, Jesus.” Diaz, himself a minister, chose to wear his collar for the event, and completely discounted LGBT Christians and their religious allies by painting the struggle as being between “the church” and “the homosexuals.”
Far right protestors included Orthodox Jewish men from the group Jews for Decency who displayed signs that warned that bestiality was the next step. Members of the Topeka, Kansas, family-based Westboro Baptist Church also turned up, only to be shunned by fellow protestors like NOM’s Maggie Gallagher.
“We had advance notice that Westboro Baptists might try to join our march and we want to make it clear that that kind of message… is loathsome and not welcome here,” Gallagher added in a subsequent interview.
Diaz said while he was against marriage equality, “we don’t hate nobody.”
But it’s hard to separate NOM’s protestors from the hardcore bigots like Westboro since their opposition to marriage equality is identical—it’s against God, therefore it’s forbidden. NOM and their cohorts may like to make political arguments against marriage equality, but all of their spokespeople, at some point or another, boil their basic objection to “it’s against God’s law,” which is not a valid argument to ban a group of people from a secular, contractual civil right like marriage.
Opponents of marriage equality continue to insist that the matter should be put to the voters, not the legislature. But polls show nearly 60% of New Yorkers support the new law.
“We should have an open and deliberative process,” the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told The Associated Press. “If truly the legislation can stand on its own merits then it should be able to withstand being deliberated publicly.” (Liberty Counsel represents McGuire’s group in the lawsuit challenging the statute.)
I’ve got to hand it to the Christian Post who managed to find, perhaps, the only gay person who joined in the protest.
One protester, who identified himself as gay, said even he is against gay marriage and considers homosexuality a sin. He even held a sign saying: “I am Gay! I don’t support same sex marriage, civil unions or gay adoptions. Overturn this sham of a same sex marriage bill now!!!”