In a huge public display that was part evangelical revival and part political demonstration, thousands of opponents of marriage equality for same-sex couples rallied in front of New York Governor David A. Paterson's midtown Manhattan offices. Protesters called on the State Senate—and God—to stop the progress of same-sex marriage in the state.
Estimates ranged between 10,000 and 20,000 at the rally sponsored by Radio Vision Cristiana International, a New Jersey-based AM radio statio, and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization. "Speakers noted that 3,000 churches from the tri-state area were represented at the event," reports Gay City News.
Reports The New York Times: "During the event, which took on the air of an evangelical church service at times, a number of speakers offered prayers as audience members stood with their arms raised and their palms facing outward. One speaker, the Rev. Miguel A. Rivera, offered a prayer for the governor, who he said was not only 'physically blind, but spiritually blind.' " .
The rally was organized by State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.—the arch-conservative anti-gay Pentecostal minister from the South Bronx who once claimed the Gay Games would lead to "an increase in AIDS and homosexuality in young people." Says Diaz: "They accuse us of homophobia. They accuse us of being radicals. They accuse us of many things because they want to close the mouth of the church."
"We’re here to say to the governor: Mr. Governor, look at the people that are here, these are the people who say we don’t believe in marriage between a man and a man and a woman and a woman," Díaz said.