Wednesday, June 8, 2011

UPDATE: Push Back

I posted last week about Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a pastor and state senator for New York from the Bronx. He is about as vocal an opposition leader to marriage equality in a position of power, considering he can actually cast a vote for or against it in the legislature.

He has sad many hateful things about LGBTs, and opposes marriage equality SOLELY on his religious beliefs. He also claims to be the church, and the state.

Besides all these things, he is a family man. He is a father, and also a grandfather. One of his grandchildren, Erica Diaz, is a partnered lesbian with two children. On May 15, 2011, she held a opposing rally in support of marriage equality, while her grandfather and several others spoke against gay people. (Many continued to spread falsehoods of and anti-gay stereotypes) Before her grandfather finished his speech, Erica wanted to stand beside him. To show him that his family was watching.
After she returned to her side of the plaza, after her girlfriend greeted her with a jubilant kiss and her friends raised her arms in victory, like a triumphant boxer who had just left the ring, Ms. Diaz said she believed her grandfather, particularly at this moment, needed to be reminded that his family was watching.
“It was important,” she said of her decision to go onstage. “I wanted him to know that I’m here, and that as long as I am alive, I’m going to stand up for what is right.”
How did she expect all this to go over at the next family dinner?
“We don’t really mix politics at the dinner table,” Ms. Diaz said, allowing herself a smile. “Family is family.” (NYTIMES)
She later responded to her grandfather, and his rally through an interview with the NY Post.
When I was younger, marriage equality was not an issue for me. But now, as my grandfather ceaselessly and callously comments on the issue, each and every word stings, since I live with my girlfriend of 2½ years, Naomi Torres, and our two sons, Jared and Jeremiah Munoz. This fight is personal.
My family deserves the same benefits as others. Naomi -- whom I would like to marry -- should be able to do things that straight married people take for granted, like make a decision for me if I'm sick.
And my grandfather has witnessed our love. At Christmas he lovingly played with our children.
But as he continued to ratchet up his rhetoric, something in me snapped. I decided to show up at his rally last month on the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse so that he could face a person he loved, a person who was gay, as he spoke against us.
That day I waded through the religious crowd and saw children as young as mine say hateful things. "You're not God's child. One man, one woman. You're not living by God." I was so nervous that morning that I threw up. I spoke against him across the street, directly within his view. But then I approached a police officer who escorted me to the podium where he spoke. My grandfather introduced me to the crowd and kissed me on the forehead. "This is my granddaughter," he said. "She chose her way of life, but I chose God's way, but I love her." Grandpa even called me after the rally, to say that he was proud of me for "respectfully speaking up for what you believe in." You cannot tell someone that you love them and stay silent when people call for their death. "Love" is empty when you say someone's life isn't natural.
He could quietly vote "no" if that's what he believes is right. But I want him to know that every word he utters hurts his own blood. (NYPOST)
Her question is one I can mirror myself. How someone play with the life of a family member so easily?

No comments:

Post a Comment