New York Marriage Madness

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun traveling his state on what he calls his “People First Campaign.” This not an effort to hear from his people, as the name would imply. Cuomo is actually attempting to sell three policy agendas. The following quote tells the story in his own words, "Our entire team is...speaking directly to New Yorkers...about the issues that can move this state forward...We need to pass a property tax cap, ethics reform, and marriage equality during this legislative session and time is short.”

For social conservatives the most alarming aspect of this campaign is the fact New York’s Senate blocked a same-sex marriage bill in mid-2009. The bill was stopped because of an amazingly motivated electorate’s desire to maintain traditional marriage. Instead of listening to the will of the people, Cuomo’s website carries this rhetoric, “…it is time to for our state to retake our leading role in guaranteeing equal rights for all. This is about civil rights and equality.”

These kinds of tired “civil rights” statements have been renounced by blacks and Hispanics across the nation - including the State of New York. Going one step further, Rev. Diaz (a New York state senator) and a host of other New Yorkers feel that same-sex marriage advocates have crossed a significant line of demarcation. They recently began attacking the basic tenets of orthodox Christianity.  This has become such a threat to the faith community that in 2009 Diaz spearheaded the development of a historic new interfaith coalition. It began by inviting 150 of his Hispanic ministerial colleagues to “break bread” with the new Archbishop of New York, Timothy M. Dolan.

As a result of this kind of grassroots work, traditional marriage leaders won decisively less than two years ago. Nonetheless same-sex marriage advocates are persistent. Their attacks have disintegrated into ad homonyms, name-calling, and death threats. Let me give you an example. On April 22, Steven Thrasher of The Village Voice wrote a poorly researched “hit piece” on Rev. Diaz entitled “Ruben Diaz Sr.: Gay Marriage Over My Dead Body.” Diaz was presented as a mean-spirited, judgmental man with a “closeted” chief of staff (which is not true). The piece incited several death threats against the senator that were actually printed on the paper’s web site. Rev. Diaz has repeatedly emphasized that his position was not based on hate but love for God, love for people, and a genuine concern for the people of New York.

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On Sunday May 15, Rev. Diaz words were tested. Thousands joined him in New York City for a pro-traditional marriage rally.  Leading a small counter rally was Erica Diaz, the senator’s lesbian granddaughter. At one point in the afternoon, she came across the street and the two of them embraced. Sen. Diaz graciously explained the situation by saying, “You can agree to disagree and still love each other.”

The marriage drama in New York is not just a local campaign. It has been coordinated with the White House, the Justice Department, and same-sex marriage initiatives in three states - Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island. Their goal was to win a significant victory and perhaps a Supreme Court triumph prior to Nov. 2012.

This brilliant plan involved selling the American public on a new way of viewing marriage. A PR Campaign was developed, targeting all three states but special attention was given to New York because it is the epicenter of media. The slight of hand used in this campaign was amazing. First, questionable opinion polls were developed, reinforcing the idea that the nation is warming up to the idea of same sex marriage. Next, celebrities - from former President Bill Clinton to Russell Simmons - have been amazingly vocal about same-sex marriage. Third, the children of famous same-sex marriage opponents have been recruited in an attempt to “shame” their parents’ stand for traditional marriage. In the same way Erica Diaz appeared, out of nowhere, in New York yesterday, Barbara Bush, one of George W. Bush’s twin daughters, as well as Meghan and Cindy McCain were recruited to discredit and challenge the faithful stances of their family and friends. 

Two thirds of the money for the same sex-marriage campaign actually comes from traditional Republican backers. The New York Times reported Saturday that about $1 million dollars in donations have originated from so-called libertarians and/ or traditional conservative sources. Surprisingly, among these donors are some of New York’s wealthiest figures - including Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager with a gay son.

Since President Obama has refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, he has overtly signaled that it’s time to legalize same-sex marriage. Despite his ardor and commitment to this direction for the nation, he and his activist coalition want to minimize the political backlash they could receive at the polls in 2012. The last thing they want is another GOP victory based on a pro-marriage repercussion like they had in 2004. There seems to have been a very detailed, national strategic plan in place since the inauguration. Unfortunately for the president, he is more politically vulnerable than he had anticipated in early 2009. If he loses just a few percentage points of both black and Hispanic Christian votes, the result could be a one term presidency.

Same-sex marriage proponents have become overconfident and have begun to believe their own exaggerated rhetoric. A great example is the marriage battle in Maryland this year. At the last minute, a huge number of black, white and Hispanic ministers emerged, flexed their muscles and gave “Superman” a personalized package of kryptonite. They won despite national dollars and pressure being exerted including the Democratic National Committee and the White House. Just like New York, Maryland’s governor used every trick in the book to create momentum for a same-sex marriage law in 2011, but it didn’t work.

In conclusion, it is obvious a major battle over marriage continues to rage in several states. People who believe DOMA should be upheld and traditional marriage maintained in the US must step up to the plate immediately. There are three things you can do: 1.) Contact your US congressmen and senators 2.) If you live in Maryland, New York, or Rhode Island; you should contact your state delegate and senator. 3.) Sign a petition that says you support DOMA. It is located at  Act today!

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