This is the first of three reports filed from yesterday’s anti-gay marriage rally in Bronx, New York.Several thousand people rallied in the Bronx, New York yesterday against the impending push to legalize same-sex marriage. Organizers, including state Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, several Spanish radio stations and churches, argued that marriage should be defined as a union between “one man and one woman” and urged the state government to abandon their effort or put the initiative up to a vote. “Let the people decide. If the people say yes, we’ll shut up,” Diaz said at the steps of the Bronx court house. “Bring it to the people, bring it to the people…look at the people!” he yelled to the crowd of several thousand Hispanic Americans.
Diaz stressed that he was not condemning gay people, telling a small group of protesters gathered across the court house that his granddaughter — who was taking part in the counter demonstration — was a lesbian. “We respect you and we love you. You’ve never heard from me a word of insult to you. You’ve never heard me say — you never seen me call for homophobia or violence,” Diaz said, as organizers and police brought Erica Diaz to the main podium to stand with Diaz. “This is my granddaughter,” he said, stressing that he had “respect” for her “decisions.” “She does what she wants,” Diaz told the crowd.
And while the march and rally focused on the Christian message of “love,” the event remained deeply homophobic, with speakers routinely condemning gay people as “sinners” and describing same-sex relations as something wholly unnatural or perverse. In fact, just minutes before Diaz took to the microphone to stress his respect for gay people, Rev. Ariel Torres Ortega of Radio Visión Cristiana said that the gay people are “worthy of death”:
Committing sexual acts between man and man. And receiving the retribution of the things that they have done from straying away. And because they did not take God in count. God gave them over to reprimand their mind to do things that are not right, being against all justice, fornication, perversity, aberrations, malignity…those who practice such things are worthy to death, not only do they do it, but those who also practice it. God bless this earth. That is the word of God.
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Demonstrators held signs that read “God’s Marriage = 1 man & 1 woman” and “Gay Marriage Is Against the Word of God.”
A group called ‘The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Prosperity’ (TFP) led off the march and provided the musical accompaniment. One member distributed hundreds of flyers to passerbys explaining “why homosexual ‘marriage’ is harmful and must be opposed.” The print-out describes same-sex marriage as “evil,” against “natural law” and argues that allowing gay people to marry would “obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.”
“If homosexual ‘marriage’ is universally accepted as the present step in sexual ‘freedom,’ what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior?” the flyer asks.