Tens of thousands of Christians filled several blocks in Manhattan Sunday during a protest against the legalization of gay marriage in New York.
The mostly Latino crowd, which included Democratic State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. of the Bronx, who is an evangelical minister, stretched from 35th to 40th Street on 3rd Avenue in New York City.
Protesters rallied outside the NYC office of Gov. David A. Paterson, who has been pushing passage of the Marriage Equality Act. As they sang and waved Bibles in the air, demonstrators spoke about the need to retain the traditional definition of marriage, according to WNYC New York Public Radio.
“God instituted marriage between man and woman to the fabric of our society,” said the Rev. Daniel Delgado of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, according to Christian Broadcasting Network News.
Organizers say hundreds of churches from Maine to New Jersey from various denominations participated in the event.
Already, the gay marriage bill has easily passed the New York state assembly and now is waiting the vote from the state senate. Thirty-two votes from the state senate are needed for gay marriage to become legal in New York. There are 32 Democrats in the state senate. However, several, including pentecostal pastor Diaz, have stated they will vote against the same-sex marriage bill.
Diaz says there are another six Democrats in the state senate who will not support the bill, according to CBN.
On Sunday afternoon, pro-gay marriage demonstrators also held a separate rally in Manhattan to thank Gov. Paterson for his effort on passing the bill. The pro-gay marriage event was much smaller, but featured celebrities and prominent New York politicians, reported WNYC New York Public radio.
If the bill passes, New York will be the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, joining Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont.