My friend Scott Rose brought this to my attention yesterday and I find it both desperate and hilarious.
As the battle for marriage equality in the United States winds down and the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage slips into irrelevance, the organization has been desperately trying to rally participants for one last hurrah: The so-called "2014 March for Marriage" scheduled for June 19th.
As in years past, NOM's president Brian Brown has turned to New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. as his savior having shown proven ability to rally thousands of people to previous anti-gay rallies.
From one of Brian Brown's increasingly desperate newsblasts:
I just recently got off the phone with my good friend, New York State Senator, Rev. Ruben Diaz, who will be speaking at the March again this year. He told me that he plans to bring down over 100 buses to the March from the Bronx this year!He is calling it the "Second Annual Bus Vigil to Washington." He plans to depart New York at 4:00 am in a spiritual convoy of activists coming to the nation's capital to defend marriage! That's over 5,000 people — overwhelmingly Latino and African-American constituents — that a single political and spiritual leader wants to bring to Washington DC this summer!
Diaz is calling it the "Second Annual Bus Vigil to Washington" because in his pitches for the rally he actually never mentions the NOM or the word "marriage" for that matter.
I'd like to invite you to participate in the "Second Vigil on Wheels to Washington." We will be traveling to Washington, DC - the nations capital - to testify and say that we are still a powerful church... We are offering any pastor or organization that wishes to accompany us to Washington a bus completely free of charge. Each bus holds 55 passengers and we will send the bus to any place you tell us to do so... The bus will pick you up there, will bring you to Washington and will bring you back to the same spot. And you won't have to pay for a single thing... Join us! Take advantage of the opportunity. Ask for your bus! Fill the bus! And let's go to Washington! Let's go on a trip! Visit the monuments in Washington and testify that Jesus heals and saves and is the King we await.
That's right. Reverend Diaz is selling the free bus rides to DC as an opportunity for people to visit the various monuments throughout the city. A wonderful opportunity for members of Latino churches throughout the area who might not get a lot of chances to visit DC.
This is not the first time Diaz has rallied people to anti-marriage equality demonstrations using deception. At previous rallies I have heard church leaders say that they had no idea they were being taken to such a rally and I have heard other religious leaders that they felt pressured to participate or risk losing the Senator's support.
But this is the first time Diaz has been caught at it so openly. Hilarious.
By the way, as long as you can fill a bus with 55 occupants, Senator Diaz says he will send the bus wherever you want it to go and transport everyone to DC. All you need to do is call (718) 991-3161 and ask for Reverend Samaris.