Main | Wednesday, June 01, 2011

More Lies From NY Sen. Ruben Diaz

Pam's House Blend guest columnist Tony Varona notes:
Time and again I have seen how bilingual and bicultural politicians, religious leaders and other public figures make outrageously defamatory and inaccurate statements against the LGBT community in Spanish media that they would never get away with making in English-language broadcast and print interviews. Much of the time, the interviewer allows them to make whatever outlandish and homophobic or transphobic claims about us without any follow-up questions or challenge of any sort. Not so with Juan Manuel Benitez's 21-minute interview of Sen. Díaz.
And here is Varona's transcript of Diaz making such an outrageous lie this week on local NYC Spanish-language television. This time, the interviewer calls him out repeatedly.
Benitez: This legislation does not affect your church. It is a civil issue. Why are you still opposed?
Sen. Díaz:
That is not the case.
Benitez: Someone will force you to [solemnize same-sex marriages]?
Sen. Díaz:
Yes. According to the bill as written, and in the future, yes. Churches will be forced.

That is not true. Let us talk about facts. We are talking about civil marriage. No one will go to your church to have you marry them.
Sen. Díaz: Marriage is marriage.
Civil marriage.

Sen. Díaz:
Marriage is marriage. And the bill as written... the bill does not exclude... as it is written specifically... does not exclude either churches or ministers specifically. It does not say it in the bill.

The bill refers only to civil marriage, never to religious marriage.

Sen. Díaz:
Marriage refers only to marriage between man and woman.

The bill refers only to civil marriage, not religious marriage. Do you really think same-sex couples would go to your church to get married... to have you marry them?

Sen. Díaz
: Well, who knows? They would come to my church so that I would refuse to marry them, and so that they could sue me, and mount a discrimination case. To mount a case in favor of stripping my church of taxes [tax exempt status], just because I would not marry them. [...]

I don't know if you have read the bill, but the bill specifically excludes churches and deals only with civil marriage, which is performed by civil authorities. It deals with civil marriage and not religious marriage.

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