And as it's quite obvious, this isn't a New York problem. This is a Democratic party problem. It manifests itself in the whole "go slow" attitude on legislation that during the election year promises sounded like change was around the corner; it's the whole "uh, oh, we need to be re-elected in 2010" nonsense; it's the sudden "we can't multitask on civil rights while the economy is in the crapper" whining. All of this was so predictable, given the past spineless of Dems we've seen over the years. They had the cover of being in the minority, but now in the majority, nothing much has changed.
You see, if you're going to effect change, as Gov. Paterson is trying to do with this legislation, you have to be prepared as a party to address the larger schism of race, religion and homophobia head-on. In a vacuum of a counter-message, the evangelical anti-gays plant seeds and watch them grow in these religious communities of color. Any success is not due to the brilliance of the Religious Right, but its ability and willingness to capitalize on the Democratic party's self-imposed weakness and impotence regarding discipline on basic civil rights issues because of the race card.
We can win these issues in the courts (and legislatures where a socially conservative minority population is small), but we will not have a serious impact on changing minds country-wide if our side remains silent on this matter. As you can see, even in a Blue state, characters like State Senator Díaz have no fear that the party is going to come down on him.
In my opinion, Diaz should be taken down by a Republican in support of the gay marriage bill. That is the best way to teach New York Democrats - and Democrats around the country a much needed lesson. Is there such a character in his district?