Video! NYC’s Big Gay Day: Autostraddle Does the Anti-Gay Evangelical Rally, Chats with Dan Choi

Interview #1 with Rev. Daniel Delgado
Riese: So can you tell me how are you guys all out here today, how was this organized?
Daniel Delgado: This rally was organized by a series of regional & national organizations. Among them are Senator Ruben Diaz from the Bronx, La Vision Christiana, which is a 24-hour evangelical radio station, the Penecostal Preachers of New York City and the National Hispanic Chrisitan Leadership Organization (NHLC), which I represent. We’re the national organization, we represent 25,000 churches, 16 million latino evangelicals, and I cover New York and New Jersey.

Riese: Do you do other issues too, or is it just this one?

Daniel: The primary issues NHLC deals with are teenage pregnancy, education- we want education reformation, too many high school dropouts, we’re looking at Latinos but it overlaps into all the other ethnic groups, why are they not graduating from high school, there’s a lot of underlying issues, broken homes, etc. Obviously there’s the same-sex marriage issue, as ministers of the gospel and as people of faith, that’s something that affects all of us —

Riese: How do you feel that fits in with the other issues in terms of how it affects you guys personally, like, how do you feel that affects you personally?

Daniel: The other issues meaning…?

Riese: Meaning like education, that directly impacts you, but how does same-sex marriage affect you like education does?

Daniel: [doesn’t understand the question — he explains here why education is important, rather than why gay marriage affects him personally] If you look historically, the way government’s kingdom would stay in power is by keeping the people dumb, so they would follow those who are elite with the education, and we want everyone to be educated so they can make the educated decision.

Brooke: How does this [same-sex marriage] issue impact you? We’re looking at both sides, so how does this issues impact you?

Daniel: I’m glad you asked me about the same-sex issue. The first thing I want to clarify is this is not an anti-gay rally, this is not a bigotry rally. What this is saying is it’s a religious freedom issue, we don’t want our religious freedoms to be violated. In regards to this issue, we need to understand that marriage was instituted by God, between a man and a woman. That’s something that the government shouldn’t legislate. But at the same time you have a segment of your population– and I believe in rights for all– so if you have a segment of the population that has chosen to live the gay lifestyle, the lesbian lifestyle, that’s their right. And they should have rights so you need to define something for them that would give them certain rights that are afforded within the context of marriage– create civil unions…

Riese: So you are for civil unions?

Daniel: Right — don’t redefine marriage, don’t redefine marriage. I’m here to say don’t redefine marriage. I’m here to say personally as a minister, picture-64I say “have civil unions, give people rights, that’s their right.”

Riese: Yeah that’s awesome. We see a lot of signs that say stuff like “Sodom and Gomorrah” and stuff that seems to be very negative towards —

Daniel: When you’re bringing a coalition of different people together, obviously it’s very difficult to manage the proccess in regards to–  but if you speak to the key leaders that are here, you’re going to get a consistent message that we’re here for religious freedom.

Brooke: Is there a way to get what you believe to these people? Because the concern is that when you have signs like ‘Soddom and Gommorah’, it becomes more of a problem, and that’s where the issues pop up, and as religious leaders…

Riese: You know like with the separation of church and state —

Daniel: Right, and at the same time, that’s an interesting issue that you raise about church and state. In the same context we believe that’s why the state should not be legislating marriage, because that’s an issue that was an institution formalized by god and not by government, and so to legislate that… We’ve lost five states in this union … and Washington [D.C.] is a few weeks away —

Brooke: Wait wait, what are you saying — you LOST them?

Daniel: Lost in regards to the legislation of same-sex marriage. I say that’s a loss because now you’re encroaching on the religious freedoms of the people in this state, and if you look historically at this state, this state is very evangelical and Catholic, so you’re encroaching on all of our rights. What needs to be done is you need to go back to the table to discuss the issues, to get away from the coo-coo fanatical stuff– I’m against that, as the minister of a gospel I’m against that.

Riese: Do you feel like most of the other leaders here are like that?

Daniel: I have my convictions, it’s not God’s perfect purpose for a man and a man to be together, that’s my conviction, but nevertheless you’re welcome in my church. On Staten Island I pastor at a church called Third Day Missions, and you’re welcome in my church, you’re gonna be treated with respect and dignity and love and we’re going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of love. But by the same token you have on the other side, you have the radicals also — you have on the other side, I just interviewed with the Village Voice, they were radical. But they were there, because you know, I let them know what our position is. This is not homophobic, the church is not homophobic, it’s not anti-gay. What it is is anti the state legislating religious freedom, that’s basically it.

Brooke: Thank you.

Riese: Thank you so much.

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Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2713 articles for us.

26 Comments

  1. must. read. this. before. bed. ! Maybe rachel will be keeping tabs aon her boy dan and happen upon this, and then hang out with you guys and make you drinks. maybe.

      • well technically the interns are part of our military intern army, which has a very strict do ask do tell policy. but the army is part of the overall team, because the team is autostraddle, which is like the country equivalent of this analogy, which is brilliant, so brilliant that i must stop right now!

  2. This website has easily become one of my favorites. Whether its the glbt related news stories, interviews, or just pictures of hot girls. you all do a wonderful job 🙂

  3. I am really really glad you decided to go, yet sad I couldn’t but this is fan-freakin-tastic. This type of stuff is the reason I believe even bigger stuff is going to happen for you guys in the very near future.
    ps- My day feels at a loss if I don’t get to check this website daily – as I learned last week on my moving day. (and that was the hot 100 day!)This is probably not healthy

  4. Dan choi is amazing and cute as hell!

    His boyfriend kind of looks like Mike Stipe but with hair!

    Love the article and the video and Haviland is back, yay!

    I was totally distracted by the Reverend’s teeth! He seems decent enough though!

    Autostraddle <3

  5. The second preacher-man you talked to had some pretty scary lookin’ dudes around him. You girls are fearless!
    I’m sure you can’t say, but I’d love to know what fake names you used.

  6. This is so funny! “If there is a storm gathering, we would like to be there with the white knights/horsemen and so forth, I hear the apocalypse is a totally crazy laser-light show!!” LOL Great video, wonderful article! I heart Autostraddle!

  7. Pingback: Revue de web: Des syndicats contre l’homophobie, la première gay pride de Singapour, Cynthia Nixon… « Yagg - Le nouveau média gay et lesbien. Info gay et lesbienne, bi et trans, vidéos, débats, dossiers, vih, culture

  8. “I may have thought a few times of Tasha & Alice, because I have chapstick for brains.”

    by far the gayest thing I’ve heard/read you say/type. i mean really Riese, chapstick? homo!

  9. Awesome video. His goons look scary but considering how you gals easily outwitted them, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. I see a future career in investigative reporting.

  10. Congratulations on the video, it was fantastic. Taking it to the streets! I want to see more of this ( and not just b/c I miss NYC something Fierce)

  11. GREAT video… i’m so happy you guys went out there. their counter-arguments were crap. “we respect the rights of gay people” but no marriage for them!!! how can they expect to win in the end when they can’t come up with one solid way that gay marriage affects them? can’t wait for them to “lose” more states!

    and the second dude who just kept waving off your accusation that there were hate signs all over the place! closing your eyes and waving your arms won’t make them go away, dude!

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