Son of Antigay N.Y. Legislator Endorses Marriage Equality

Ruben Diaz Jr., a public official himself as Bronx borough president in New York City, takes a stance opposite that of his father, a state senator.

BY Trudy Ring

March 27 2013 5:31 PM ET

Ruben Diaz Jr.

The son and namesake of antigay New York State senator Ruben Diaz Sr. today took a public position opposite that of his father — in support of marriage equality.

Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. announced his support in a statement on his website. He arrived at the stance “after considerable deliberation and introspection,” going on to say, “My decision, which comes after years of thought and reflection on the issue, is informed by the experiences I have had with close friends, family and loved ones.”

The LGBT people in his life include Paul Del Duca, his chief of staff, and Erica Diaz, his niece. He noted that he attended why Del Duca’s wedding to his partner, Damion, and asked why they should “be denied the same rights of any other loving and committed couple.” He added, “Moreover, why should my niece, Erica Diaz, be denied the ability to get married when her time comes?”

The New York State legislature passed a marriage equality bill in 2011, and since then there have been none of negative consequences that opponents of the legislation had predicted, Diaz said. “It is my contention that our city and our state are better off than they were before marriage equality became the law,” he said. His father was the only Democrat in the legislature to vote against the bill.

The junior Diaz also called for the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. “Individuals who love one another, regardless of their sexual orientation, should not be denied the benefits of marriage,” he said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.”

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