While New York State Sen. Rubén Díaz (D) was leading the anti-marriage equality march on the National Mall yesterday, his son, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. (D), was probably penning the final words for his statement endorsing marriage equality.
On Wednesday, the junior Díaz released a long and personal statement announcing his support for same-sex marriage, which has been the national focus this week as the Supreme Court debates the constitutionality of both the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8:
“My decision, which comes after years of thought and reflection on the issue, is informed by the experiences I have had with close friends, family and loved ones.
“For example, my chief-of-staff, Paul Del Duca, has for decades worked to help the people of this City. He has helped people find housing and jobs, he has dedicated his professional life to assisting those in need. Why, then, should he and his partner Damion — whose wedding I stood witness to — be denied the same rights of any other loving and committed couple? Moreover, why should my niece, Erica Diaz, be denied the ability to get married when her time comes?
“When marriage equality was made legal in 2011, many opponents predicted that it would have negative consequences. That has certainly not been the case. It is my contention that our city and our state are better off than they were before marriage equality became the law. Not only has our city seen an incredible financial impact from marriage equality, the quality of life for myself, my family and my friends has not suffered one bit.”
Díaz, Jr.’s statement stands in stark contrast to the comments from his father, who has vowed to lead a “war” on same-sex marriages, and has embraced the support of a woman who declared homosexuality more threatening than terrorism and a minister who said gays are worthy of death.
This won’t be the first Díaz family rift. The senior Díaz has continued to disparage marriage equality, even as he acknowledges that he has a gay brother and nephew, and a lesbian granddaughter who has openly condemned him. Still, the State Sen. insists, “We have a very loving family… I love them. They love me. We help each other.”