New York Senate Debate Over Toeivah Marriage Gets Nasty


paterson-silverConservative Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. said Wednesday that supporters of a toeivah marriage bill should step up and say so if they aren’t “ashamed,” or the bill’s sponsor should be quiet. The future of toeivah marriage is being debated quietly within the Democrat-controlled Senate, following the measure’s approval in the Democrat-led Assembly last month. Democratic Gov. David Paterson says he will sign the bill into law if the Legislature passes it.But Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith says he still doesn’t have enough votes for the bill to pass.

This week, Sen. Thomas Duane, an openly toeivah lawmaker sponsoring the bill, said he has enough votes now to pass it. He wouldn’t identify the supporters.

Diaz, a Bronx minister who opposes the measure on religious grounds, said it’s a “disgrace” that Duane is playing mind games to lure enough supporters.

“If Senator Tom Duane has the necessary Senate votes to pass the [toeivah] marriage bill in New York state, then he should release the names of those senators who are supporting the bill,” Diaz said in a statement.

“Any senator who commits himself or herself to something, should be man or woman enough to take a stand … If they give their word to support something that they are ashamed of, then that is a hypocrisy, and could be interpreted as not wanting to be associated with the matter,” Diaz said.

Diaz is one of the reasons the bill, strongly supported by his party, hasn’t become law. The Democrats have a 32-30 majority, so his opposition means Democrats need Republican supporters, and there has been little bipartisan cooperation since Democrats took the majority in the November elections.

Duane and Smith had no immediate comment.

The regular legislative session ends June 22.

{CBS Radio Inc./Elisha Newscenter}


  1. Thank you Shelly Silver, thank you!!! You are such a role model! You are causing such a nachas ruach before HKB”H! AAH, there should be more like you in Klall Yisroel!

  2. The Megila in Koheles says that money answers everything. Shelly only pass it for his own interest and not what was in the interest of the Torah and Morality to society. Shelly is a politician and it makes no difference that he is orthodox because apparently politics to him comes before religion.