Diaz Flies Beneath the Anglo Radar

March 23, 2005

To the Editor:

In “Advocates Mark What Could Have Been” (by Andy Humm, Mar. 17-23), Councilmember Margarita Lopez is said to have “…been threatened by State Sen. Ruben Diaz, a Bronx Democrat and a leading anti-gay marriage activist, with political retribution for her support for same-sex marriage in her run for Manhattan borough president.”

The article goes on to say that, when asked, Diaz “refused to discuss what he had said to Lopez.”

Spanish language press, including El Diario La Prensa on February 8, has covered several press conferences held by the Rev. Ruben Diaz, with the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization and the Latin American Chaplains’ Association, at which he and others have specifically threatened to ask church-goers to abstain from voting for any candidate who is in favor of same-sex marriage and, furthermore, to actively vote “against mayoral candidates Fernando Ferrer and Gifford Miller and Councilmembers Christine Quinn and Margarita Lopez” for their support for marriage for same-sex partners.

That these threats have been voiced mainly through Spanish-language media might indicate a strategy to mobilize Spanish-speaking church-goers against these politicians without attracting attention to how Diaz and others have been using non-profit charities to do this type of political work. Unfortunately, even if these public statements run afoul of non-profit guidelines, agencies that enforce these regulations might miss them altogether since I doubt they pay much attention to Spanish-language media.

Andres Duque


Covering News Missed Elsewhere

March 23, 2005

To the Editor:

I just wanted to applaud you for the coverage given to the death of Rashawn Brazell in your newspaper (“Grisly Brooklyn Murder,” by Mick Meenan, Feb. 24-Mar. 2).

So often the media is insensitive to events like this in the African American and gay communities. I think your coverage has helped to mobilize black men in the gay community to raise awareness of this murder and motivate others to take action to prevent future deaths. This is an important thing.

Thank you.

Stephen A. Williams


Loving the Irish Hated by God

March 30, 2005

To the Editor:

Please tell Jerry Tallmer that I found his piece on “God Hates the Irish: The Ballad of Armless Johnny” not only brilliant, but devastating (“Loosening Martyrs Nooses,” Mar. 24-30). I wish I could be in New York to see it. But I can’t be there until the end of June when I have a play of my own opening at Wings. I sure hope the Rattlestick Theatre has such great reviews that it must extend the show just long enough that I can see it.

Bob Canning

Petaluma, California

Say What?

March 15, 2005

To the Editor:

What in the world is James McCourt talking about in his “review” of Alan Hollinghurst’s novel “The Line of Beauty” (“What Now, Voyager,” Mar. 10-16)?

Is he trying to impress all of us illiterates with how intellectually literary he is? His pedantic rant is pure public masturbation. He’s not that clever by half, or is he? Perhaps it is the case that his “review” actually mocks Thatcherism’s me-me-me-ism.

In the future, Mr. McCourt would be doing us all a favor by sticking to the matter at hand—writing a review we morons can understand.

Jak Merlis



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