The New York Times publishes a lengthy, revisionist puff piece on New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., the rabidly anti-gay Bronx Pentecostal minister who is the leading opponent of gay rights and marriage equality in the state. The Times claims there is "nuance" in Diaz's bigotry:
Two of his brothers are gay, he murmurs, one of them recently deceased. So is a granddaughter. There is an old friend who works for him in the Senate. And a former campaign aide. "I love them. I love them," says Mr. Díaz, who grew up one of 17 children in Puerto Rico. "But I don’t believe in what they are doing. They are my brothers. They are my family." His voice rises again. "So how could I be a homophobe?" ...
But to Mr. Díaz and his friends, the senator’s steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage seems at times incongruous. Christopher R. Lynn, Mr. Díaz’s chief counsel, who is gay and lives with his partner in Queens, said that he has undergone three back operations, and that every time he goes into the hospital, Mr. Díaz has been there. "He is a true believer in Christian values, in treating people the way you want to be treated," Mr. Lynn said. Mr. Díaz describes Mr. Lynn as "my brother." They often double-date with their respective better halves. Mr. Lynn has not been able to move Mr. Díaz on the issue of marriage. "He said to me, ‘For me to accept this, I have to turn my whole value system upside down,’ " Mr. Lynn said.
Color me unimpressed by the obligatory gay relatives. The majority of LGBTs, especially those coming from black and Latino religious households, would probably say their extended families have been less than welcoming. But the man who advises the anti-gay senator on legislation and policy is an out gay man? Even more unimpressive. What "true Christian values" was Diaz espousing when he led 10,000 people to condemn gays on the streets of Manhattan and suing to shut down the city's LGBT high school?
Ruben Diaz Sr deserves the prize for spreading fear and bigotry throughout the city and especially in the black and Latino communities. Oh and someone please parade Diaz's entitled chief counsel up and down 8th Avenue. Let him explain to the gay community that he's double dated with Diaz Sr and he's such a nice guy.