It seems the National Organization for Marriage believes that if it simply redoubles its race-baiting tactics as if they are not problematic and offensive, then the controversy over its now-known intention to do so will somehow be overlooked. New York state Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz (D) has unsurprisingly volunteered to be the anti-equality group’s latest token to help “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” and “make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker” for young Latinos:
DÍAZ: Brian Brown and NOM have done something, that no one has been able to do before: they have helped Black and Hispanic people throughout the nation to find our voice when everyone else rejected us and excluded us from the debate.
You should know that NOM has not divided us, it has brought us unity; NOM has given a voice to the voiceless on the marriage issue, and shown us respect for our core, and sacred values on marriage—a respect the mainstream media has consistently denied us.
No New York Times editorial, nor anyone else will be able to sow seeds of dissension between us and NOM in this great effort to protect marriage.
The New York Times had condemned NOM for its “poisonous political approach,” an approach Díaz is all too happy to help bring to fruition. His polarizing language suggests that all people of color believe together as one block and attempts to paint NOM as an ally to their communities. But as the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out, NOM is simply using these groups for its own insidious purposes, and surely the group hopes that Díaz’s comments will provide another opportunity to take false umbrage when his offensive views are called out.
Díaz’s anti-gay antagonism is about as harmful as a state senator’s can be. In the lead-up to the passage of marriage equality in New York last year, he held a rally that featured religious leaders who said gay people are “worthy of death.” He lied about the religious exemptions in the bill to make his case for opposing it, and his own lesbian granddaughter even rebuked his “love” for her. Following the bill’s massage, Díaz declared “Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!” For him to claim his own anti-gay hatred as representative of people of color is affront to the diversity of those communities, including the many people who experience oppression both for their sexual orientation and the color of their skin.
NOM is free to highlight as many black and Latino spokespeople as it would like, but every time it does with such obvious malicious intent, it proves how little it actually cares about any group but itself.