Yesterday afternoon, at 45th and 6th Avenue in Midtown, there was a big rally, full of gay marriage proponents urging the State Senate to pass the gay marriage bill, holding signs like "Marriage Equality Now." Governor David Paterson made a last-minute appearance, rousing the crowd, "My name is David Paterson, and I came here today seeking justice. Let New York lead the country in making the dreams and wishes come true for people who want to get married." But at Third Avenue and 40th, there was an opposing rally, organized by the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, led State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx)—signs included "1 man + 1 woman = God's will" and chants were along the lines of "New York is not Sodom and Gomorrah!"
The NY Times reports that Diaz told the crowd (which was apparently larger than the pro-gay marriage gathering), "We’re here to say to the governor: Mr. Governor, look at the people that are here, these are the people who say we don’t believe in marriage between a man and a man and a woman and a woman." And another speaker, the Rev. Miguel A. Rivera, prayed for the governor, who he called "physically blind" as well as "spiritually blind." According to Gay City News, a Jewish speaker called Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver "an embarrassment as a Jew."
All the same, Paterson urged the State Senate to pass the bill, "More and more, I think people understand that this is an eventuality. But when you think of all of the the people who would like to be married and can't be and the frustration they feel, there's no time like the present." Other speakers at the pro-gay marriage event included Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, actors Cynthia Nixon, Audra McDonald and Cheyenne Jackson. Here's a video (via PolitickerNY):
A few blocks away, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership's Rev. Daniel Delgado told NY1, "This is not an anti-gay rally, this is not about the Church being homophobic, this is about the Church saying 'Do not violate my religious freedoms."