The National Organization for Marriage and New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz (D), a prominent opponent of New York's marriage equality law, have spoken out in defense of the organization after previously confidential NOM documents released by the Human Rights Campaign this past week moved many civil rights advocates and activists and the The New York Times to criticize the organization.
An April 2 New York Times editorial stated that NOM's strategy to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks" was a "poisonous political approach." This condemnation did not sit well with either NOM or New York Senator Ruben Diaz.
In a statement released April 5, NOM responded to the criticism. "NOM didn't create this issue," the statement read. "The African American and Hispanic communities have always opposed same-sex marriage. It is the gay marriage activists and Democratic party elites who have forced the issue, ignoring the voices of Black and Hispanic voters."
In a statement posted on his website, Sen. Diaz also responded to the controversy and reiterated his support for NOM. "Brian Brown and NOM have done something, that no one has been able to do before: they have helped Black and Hispanic people throughout the nation to find our voice when everyone else rejected us and excluded us from the debate," the statement read. "You should know that NOM has not divided us, it has brought us unity; NOM has given a voice to the voiceless on the marriage issue, and shown us respect for our core, and sacred values on marriage -- a respect the mainstream media has consistently denied us."
He continued by commenting on the Times article. "No New York Times editorial, nor anyone else will be able to sow seeds of dissension between us and NOM in this great effort to protect marriage."
Contrary to NOM and Sen. Diaz's remarks, a March 29 statement released by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) showed that a 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll found that 74 percent of Latinos support marriage equality or other forms of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples, and a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in March 2012 revealed that 50 percent of African-Americans support the issue.