WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz District 18, Bronx County
“To a man who stands for principles”
You should know that Andrew Cuomo, when he was governor of New York State, wrote a book titled, "All Things Possible.” In his book he proudly takes credit for making same sex marriage a reality for the gay and lesbian community in New York State.
Governor Cuomo details the obstacles and struggles that (according to him) he had to go through, so that today men can marry men and women can marry women in our state of New York.
It is important for you to know that in four (4) of the pages of the Governor’s book "All Things Possible” he cites me as one of the greatest obstacles he had to face to pass this marriage bill. Interestingly although I was an obstacle for him in getting same sex marriage passed, he honors me by recognizing, what I consider noble virtues. In his book he mentions my honesty, my faith and commitment to biblical beliefs as a minister of the gospel Jesus Christ.
On page #382 of Governor Cuomo’s book, he explains the problem he faced when he needed (32) thirty-two senators to vote in favor of gay marriage. Governor Cuomo explains this problem when he writes, "We needed thirty-two (32) votes. We knew that one Democrat, Ruben Diaz, a Senator from the Bronx, was a no-go. A Pentecostal minister, he could not be moved to change his mind. That meant we had to lock in the remaining twenty-nine Democrats and sway three Republicans. Difficult? Yes.” The governor was right. I could not be moved. I was a “No” vote, and yes, he would have to sway Republicans.
On page #389 the governor explains the “Machiavellian” tactics that Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos made agreeing to help the governor “sway” some Republicans. Cuomo writes the following: "In June, Majority Leader Dean Skelos made a clever move that transferred all the pressure from his team to ours. A skillful tactician, he announced that he wouldn’t let the bill go to the floor unless we had all the Democrats with us except Ruben Diaz, the Pentecostal minister who we both knew was unshakeable.”
Explaining his final strategy for getting same-sex marriage passed in the State, Governor Cuomo writes on page #399 of his book the following: "Republicans had asked for one concession “We don't want long speeches” Skelos told us. They didn’t want political rhetoric to inflame the already nervous Senators. The Senate Minority Leader, John Sampson, who represented parts of Brooklyn, including Crown Heights and East Flatbush, assured us he would keep the Democrats’ comments to a minimum. The plan was: Get the legislation on the floor. Do a rolling voice vote. Go home."
The governor continued to describe the deal between Sampson and Skelos (the Republican and Democrat leaders) on page #400. "Sampson had previewed with both Skelos and Steve, that the only speech from one of their members would be from Senator Diaz, the sole opponent on the Democrats side, who would speak for two (2) minutes. Diaz used to speak from a pulpit, led with, "God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage, a long time ago. " And he kept going. When Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy cut him off, he said "Senator, Senator, I know you want to go on, but we have twenty-three people who want to speak on the bill.
The proceedings ground to a halt as Diaz and his allies complained that he had been cut off.”
In all “All Things Possible” on page #402, it’s interesting to note how Cuomo complains that when he arrived at the Senate floor, all prepped up and ready to receive accolades and applause for his efforts in getting same sex marriage passed he writes that: “Almost all the Republicans and Ruben Diaz, who voted against marriage equality, were gone. But all the pro-marriage equality Democratic senators, the advocates and the press were still there.”
What you should know my dear reader is that although I was seen as an obstacle by the Governor and fellow legislators I am recognized, as recorded in “All ThingsPossible” as a man who was steadfast as a minister of the Gospel. As such I faced much adversity, many doors were closed to me, and I created many enemies for believing as I do, for opposing legislation that clearly went against traditional principles and for being the only Democrat Senator who dared to vote against same-sex marriage.
Governor Andrew Cuomo gifted me a signed copy of his book. When signing the book he personally wrote on the front blank page of the book the following quote: “To A Man Who Stands for Principles.”
It is important for you to also know that the (4) people mentioned by the Governor in his book “All Things Possible” regarding the matter of same sex marriage, them being: Governor Andrew Cuomo himself, Senator Dean Skelos, Senator John Sampson, and yours truly. Take note that all three Cuomo, Skelos, and Sampson's political careers ended in shame and disgrace. Skelos and Sampson were convicted and imprisoned for corruption, and Governor Cuomo, as you know was forced to resign from office under allegations of sexual misconduct, etc.
It is also important that you know that the Republicans that jumped shipped and were swayed to vote against their own party, all lost their re-election bid and I, thanks be to God, have concluded my political career with my head held high, and proud to have honorably served the people of New York in both the City Council, and in the New York State Senate. I’m also proud that Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his book, took the time to acknowledge my principals, my commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and recognized me as “A Man Who Stands for Principles.”
I am Former Senator and Former Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz, and This Is What You Should Know.