NEW YORK – State Senator Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) said that he will not tolerate any messages of hatred from Christians joining the rally Sunday against the new gay marriage law.
Diaz, the lone Democratic senator to vote against the gay marriage bill, has come out strongly against the new law but said he will publicly denounce any messages of hatred toward homosexuals at Sunday's rally outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in New York City.
"No one is welcome to bring any message of hatred to our 'Let the People Vote Rally'," Diaz said in a statement Saturday.
Around 5,000 people are expected to join rallies, organized by National Organization for Marriage, to demand a statewide referendum on the gay marriage issue. The rallies will take place in Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester. All the protests will begin at 3 p.m.
"Christians will stand together to prayerfully and peacefully demand a public referendum on the question of same-sex marriage laws in New York State," said Diaz, a Pentecostal minister.
"Should ANY member of any group express any message of hatred toward homosexuals at our rally it will be publicly denounced by me and by my fellow ministers."
The rallies were scheduled for Sunday because it is the first day the same-sex marriage law takes effect in New York. Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples are expected to marry today in New York City alone.
State officials have gone out of their way to allow same-sex couples to wed today. Several city clerks offices in the five boroughs and throughout New York, which are normally closed on weekends, have posted special hours to mark the first day that gay marriage becomes legal in the state. State officials have also provided judicial waiver forms so that same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses do not have to wait 24 hours before getting married.
Diaz has chided New York City Mayor Bloomberg for making special concessions for gay marriages.
"In a city where teachers and public employees are being laid off, and fire houses are being closed for lack of funds, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to spend city funds to have government offices open on a Sunday to perform same-sex weddings," the Bronx senator said last week.
He urged Christians to boldly protest the gay marriage law the same way the Apostles testified the resurrection of Christ following Pentecost.
"Having had this bad law passed, we should not retreat in fear the way the Apostles did in the days after the crucifixion and before the resurrected Christ came to reveal himself. Instead, we need to maintain the same drive that the Apostles had after the resurrected Lord filled them with the Spirit," said Diaz.
In an interview with The Christian Post last month, Diaz said he believes that gay marriage is the sign of the End of Times. He also said that Christians need to "organize better" against gay marriage, saying that they often "pray too much and act too little."
On the Web: Locations for "Let the People Vote" rallies can be found on its website.