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Round-Up Of NOM’s New York Marriage Rally: All About “Love,” Except For The Parts About Hate

May 17, 2011 6:42 pm ET by Carlos Maza

This past Sunday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) – along with New York State Senator Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) -- sponsored a rally in The Bronx, New York to voice their opposition to the state’s proposed marriage equality legislation.

From the rally’s outset, attendees and speakers were eager to explain that their opposition to same-sex marriage had nothing to do with anti-gay animus or homophobia and that they respected and loved gays and lesbians.

Brian Brown, president of NOM:

We must stand up in love and speak the truth. This is about love.

Sen. Ruben Diaz, speaking to a group of counter-protesters:

To the whole group that is up there, we all respect you and we love you.

Leslie Diaz, wife of Senator Ruben Diaz:

This is not about hate, this is about love. The gay community will have you believe that this is about hatred and this is about homophobia, and absolutely not.

Michael Carrion, Bronx director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

We believe that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We believe that we are to embrace, support and uphold the rights of those who believe in same-sex marriage. This is not a personality war, but there's a line that's been crossed.

However, a number of bloggers -- including Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper, Think Progress’ Igor Volsky, and Joe.My.God.’s Joe Jervis -- tracked the event and uncovered evidenced that painted a very different picture.

Rev. Ariel Torres Ortega: Gays Are Worthy Of Death. Rev. Ariel Torres Ortega of Radio Visión Cristiana -- which also sponsored the rally -- gave a speech condemning homosexuality, claiming “those who practice such things are worthy to death”:

TORRES’ TRANSLATOR: Committing sexual acts between man and man. And receiving the retribution of the things that they have done from straying away. And because they did not take God in count, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do things that are not right, being against all justice: fornication, perversity, avarice, malignity.


TORRES’ TRANSLATOR: Those who practice such things are worthy to death, not only do they do it, not only but those who also practice it. God bless his word.

Brian Brown Repeats Myths About Massachusetts Public Schools, Compares Marriage Equality To Slavery. While speaking at the rally Brown repeated NOM’s go-to falsehood about same-sex marriage being taught in public schools and compared the fight against marriage equality to efforts to abolish slavery in the U.S. and England:

BROWN: Do not accept the lie that redefining marriage will not affect you. It will. It changes what is taught in the schools. Kids as young as kindergarten in Massachusetts are taught that their parents are bigots because they believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman. They have shut down Christian adoption agencies in Massachusetts, in Washington DC, because Christians could not adopt children to same-sex couples. This is a question of civil rights, it’s a question of our civil rights. Remember where we come from. People of faith stood up against the great evils of the Coliseum in Rome when people were being put to death. People of faith stood up against slavery under William Wilberforce and abolished slavery in England. Hispanics, African-Americans, whites, everyone came together to stop the evils of slavery in the United States and stood together in the civil rights movement. I ask you today, stand up for your civil rights, stand up for marriage, pray for our civil rights leaders.

Rev. Kittim Silva Pushes Ex-Gay Therapy, Says Gay Parents Are Worse Than Foster Care. Rev. Kittim Silva, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders and a member of Radio Visión Cristiana, argued children would be better off in foster care than with gay parents and promoted the idea that gays and lesbians can be cured of their homosexuality:

VOLSKY: But if there is also a lot of children in the foster system, do you think it’s preferable for those children to go into gay households?

SILVA: No, I don’t think so.

VOLSKY: So it’s better for them to stay in the system, you think?



VOLSKY: And why do you think people become gay? Do you think it’s something they’re born with or do you think it’s a choice they make?

SILVA: Some, I believe that they born with gay tendencies, or else they become to be gays because they are looking for identity in the same way they become alcoholic, to [inaudible], and other things. I believe that sometimes what they see and they want to repeat.

VOLSKY: And do you think they can go back straight?

SILVA: Yes, many have been changed.

VOLSKY: You know people?

SILVA : People in church have been changed among whites, blacks, it can be changed.

Leslie Diaz Says Gay People Are “Enchained And Enslaved By Homosexuality.” Leslie Diaz, just several breaths after declaring her “love” for the gay community, told a crowd of supporters (including a smiling Brian Brown) that homosexuality is an “abomination” that has “enchained and enslaved” gays and lesbians:

DIAZ: The gay community will have you believe that this is about hatred and this is about homophobia, and absolutely not. Because God gave his only begotten son that the world shall not perish. That includes the gay people. However, God also said in his word that this is an “abomination.”


DIAZ: Once you come to Jesus Christ, our lord, you too will receive salvation. In the name of Jesus I pray for them and I ask all of you to pray for all of those who are enchained and enslaved by homosexuality.

None of this is the kind of rhetoric you’d expect from a crowd that supposedly respects and loves the LGBT community. Despite their claims to the contrary, NOM created a platform from which religious and community leaders could spread their traditional homophobic and anti-gay messages.

It may be possible for people to genuinely oppose marriage equality without being anti-gay, but that isn’t what happened in New York this weekend. 


NOM: Marriage Equality Is “An Excuse To Poison Young Minds”

NOM: Gay Marriage Is A Waste Of Time (Unless You’re Trying To Stop It)

As Expected, NOM Already Playing The “Race Card” In New York

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