Saturday, November 05, 2005

Of Latino homophobes and the NYC Mayoral Race

Things that make you go hmm...

From today's El Diario La Prensa in a
political briefs column by Eva Sanchis:
Rubén Díaz Sr., stay calm in the Bronx: The Puerto Rican [NYS] Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. recently confessed to several reporters in a Ferrer campaign stop that campaign organizers had asked him to stay "calm" with his position and not to draw too much public attention to his support for Ferrer. Apparently, Ferrer's campaign does not want the Senator, who is against gay marriage, to scare away the gay and lesbian community, which Ferrer has courted. Diaz said that he would vote for the Puerto Rican, even though in the past he threatened to boycott him in the elections for his support of gay marriages. Maibe Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Ferrer, said that she could not confirm Diaz' comments and said that the campaign would be grateful to receive his support. Yesterday, the Reverend said that he would vote for Ferrer "because culture and blood mean more."
But, if the Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. is making moves towards Ferrer, at the very least Ferrer doesn't seem to be embracing him, which is less than what can be said about Mike Bloomberg standing on a stage on Friday and rapturously embracing the support from San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini-Padilla (pictured above). Hm, let's take a closer look:
  • Used rumors about his challenger's sexuality as a tactic to defeat him in a close mayoral race in 2000: "The bad blood between the two began in 2000, when [Eduardo] Bhatia accused Santini of snorting coke and Santini accused Bhatia of being a closeted homosexual" says this Oct. 2, 2004 opinion piece from El Vocero. The article goes on to say that when Bhatia challenged Santini again in the 2004 mayoral race, now a married man, Santini still accused him of not having "a traditional family" since his wife had not been born in Puerto Rico.
  • On August 2, 2003, following "complaints from several Puerto Rican conservative and religious groups over its nude scenes," Santini ordered a Puerto Rican staging of gay-themed play "Naked Boys Singing"shut down a day before it was supposed to open. At the time, he called the play "immoral" but the City of San Juan was later forced in court to pay $1.3 million for breaking production agreements.
Not that homophobes who embrace Bloomberg have been discouraged from endorsing the Bloomberg campaign in the past...

A funny thing though, today's El Nuevo Dia says that in a press conference yesterday, Reverend Diaz actually said of the Santini endorsement: "If you are not going to help, don't 'not help,' the Mayor of San Juan is wrong [in opposing Ferrer]."

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