By Peter J. Smith

ALBANY, December 2, 2009 ( – On Wednesday afternoon, the New York State Senate voted overwhelmingly to reject legislation that would have legalized same-sex “marriage,” handing a humiliating defeat to proponents of the legislation who told the Senate that a vote for same-sex “marriage” was a vote to stand on the “right side of history.”

The measure, which would have amended New York State's Domestic Partnership Law and have made New York the sixth state to legalize same-sex “marriage,” failed by a broad margin of 24 in favor and 38 against.

The Senate vote finally means same-sex “marriage” is dead in New York for this legislative session: a resounding victory for pro-family advocates in the state, and a heavy loss for Gov. David Paterson and Democratic leaders, who were looking to deliver same-sex “marriage” advocates their first victory after their latest defeat in Maine.

Just minutes before the 3 P.M. vote, Sen. Thomas Duane (D-NY 29), the chief sponsor of the same-sex “marriage” bill, confidently told members of the Senate that he was looking forward to not just being “an old gay” but soon a “married gay.”

However, those anticipations were dashed by a coalition of eight Democrats led by Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D-NY 32), the leader of the Senate fight against same-sex “marriage,” who joined every member of the GOP caucus in a conscience vote against the bill.

Debate began after a short noon recess with Sen. Duane arguing that this “legislation would provide me and tens of thousands of other New Yorkers equal rights in New York State.”

Delivering the final speech before the vote, Duane appeared confident of victory and pressed fellow Senators to vote for the bill since, “It's always the time to be on the right side of history!”

Only Sen. Diaz spoke on the floor of the Senate against same-sex “marriage.” The Senator and Evangelical minister, indefatigable in his fight against same-sex “marriage,” rallied 20,000 Hispanics over the summer in support of natural marriage, forged a broad religious coalition to oppose the bill, and even sacrificed with his wife a cruise celebrating their wedding anniversary in order to attend a special legislative session called by Gov. Paterson, where same-sex “marriage” could have been called to a vote.

Diaz mentioned that adherents of the world's major religions – not just Evangelicals – oppose same-sex “marriage,” including Jews, Muslims, and Catholics. Diaz specifically praised those Catholic bishops who signed the Manhattan Declaration as a testament of their opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

He proposed that the Senate instead should let New Yorkers decide on same-sex “marriage” through a referendum. New York has no referendum process like Maine, but the State Legislature could pass a bill that allows voters to decide the question via the ballot box.

However, the supreme “irony,” Diaz told the Senate, was that the same gay lobby, which fought so hard and spent an enormous amount of money to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP in order to get a bill on same-sex “marriage,” now “is depending on them to make this happen.”

“The reality is that it has been the Republican Party and their traditional values, and the Republican Party with their moral values, and the Republican Party with their family values, that has been for years and years what has kept the values in this whole nation alive,” declared Diaz. “And now they are being asked to throw away these values.”

He appealed to the Republicans once again to hold fast to their principles and instead let the people decide the fate of marriage in New York, pointing out that the will of the people has opposed same-sex “marriage” in all thirty-one states where they had an opportunity to vote on it.

“Remember your rules, remember your values: remember your family values, traditional values, moral values,” exhorted Diaz. “Go back to the defense of your traditional values. Join me a Democrat, join me a Hispanic, join me a black, join me a Puerto Rican, and join me in bringing a referendum to the people.”

However the rest of the speeches proceeded from Democrats speaking out in favor of the bill.

Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-NY 14), President Pro Tempore of the Senate, told the Senate that at stake with same-sex “marriage” was “an individual's right to feel good about themselves.”

“For the first time, all men and women will be created equal,” declaimed Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D-NY 34), Deputy Majority Leader. “This law will expand the central American ideal of equality.”

Sen. Eric Adams (D-NY 20) politely accused Sen. Diaz of not speaking “from his head.” Adams compared banning gay marriage to “reaching back to the most ugliest [sic] period of America,” when states like Virginia had laws banning interracial marriages until the 1967 US Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia.

The senator also told his colleagues that, “When I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out.”

That statement drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Diaz, who stated that given what he said was the rising scourge of crime in America, “That is the wrong statement to send.” Diaz urged Senators to remember their Bibles before voting. “You should carry your Bible all the time,” he said.

Freed by GOP Minority Leader Sen. Dean Skelos (NY 9) to vote their consciences, every single Republican joined Sen. Diaz in rejecting same-sex “marriage.” The seven other Democrats to vote against the same-sex “marriage” bill were Sens. Carl Kruger (NY 27), Shirley Huntley (NY 10), Darrel Aubertine (NY 48), Joseph Addabbo (NY 15), William Stachowski (NY 58), George Onorato (NY 12), and Hiram Monserrate (NY 13).

Contact information for members of the New York State Senate can be found here.