New York state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.
has criticized New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's claim that gay
marriage is a civil right.
In delivering a speech Thursday in
support of legalizing the institution in the state, the 69-year-old
Bloomberg compared the gay rights movement to the African-American
civil rights struggle.
“Both events are possible because
thousands of courageous individuals risked everything to come out and
speak out. And because they did – because they organized and
protested, because they poured their hearts out to friends and family
and neighbors, because they stood up for their rights and marched for
equality and ran for office – laws banning same-sex relationships
have been struck down by the Supreme Court. More than 20 states have
adopted laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual
orientation. And beginning this year, patriotic men and women will
be able to enlist in the U.S. military without having to hide their
“Today, a majority of Americans
support marriage equality – and young people increasingly view
marriage equality in much the same way as young people in the 1960s
viewed civil rights. Eventually, as happened with civil rights for
African-Americans, they will be a majority of voters. And they will
pass laws that reflect their values and elect presidents who
“It is not a matter of it – but
when,” Bloomberg added.
Diaz, considered the Senate's most
vocal critic of the proposed legislation, denounced Bloomberg's
“It was disturbing today to hear
Mayor Michael Bloomberg trivialize the suffering and agony of African
Americans during the slave era by comparing it to the push to
legalize homosexual marriage,” Diaz, who has previously criticized
Andrew Cuomo for using his office to campaign for the gay marriage,
at his official state website.
“There is no just comparison between
America’s struggle to overcome the evils of slavery and the
promotion of the lifestyle of homosexuality. It is preposterous for
Mayor Bloomberg to degrade and minimize the plight of
African-Americans in this civil rights struggle by equating it with
the effort to push to legalize homosexual marriage.”
“Before Mayor Bloomberg attempts to
borrow from history for comparisons, he should take a look at the
uncivil discourse that is taking place by those whose goals he has
“Black leaders should not allow Mayor
Bloomberg or anyone else trivialize their suffering and their
history!” he concluded.