Senator and Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. isn’t taking the threat to his election bid and the bids of others by Fight Back NY lying down.

The group is organizing against certain lawmakers as retaliation for their “no” votes on the marriage equality bill that was defeated in the Senate in December 2009 by a margin of 38 to 24.

Diaz fired off a letter to Hispanic ministers today emphasizing the importance of this year’s election to  “Christians and God-fearing people to keep our family, moral and traditional values that our ancestors left us and that the Bible teaches us.” (The bold and underlining are his.  The entire letter appears after the jump.)

Diaz singles out Senator Shirley Hunter and Frank Padavan, as well as Hiram Monserrate (who has since been ousted in from the Senate, but is running for the Assembly) and thanks them for taking a political risk by voting against same-sex marriage.

He then asks not only for votes, but for prayers for Huntley, Padavan and Monserrate.

“As a State Senator, a Pastor, and a Christian, I need Senators Shirley Huntley, Frank Padavan and Hiram Monserrate back in the New York State legislature for next year when the gay marriage issue will take top priority in New York State,” Diaz writes.

“We do not have the luxury of losing these three legislators who have fought so hard for our family, moral and traditional values in the State legislature.”

UPDATE:  Traditional marriage crusader Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is coming to Diaz’s defense.

In a press release, McGuire links back to what he classifies a “disturbing story” posted on this blog about Fight Back NY’s efforts to oust certain Senators.  He uses some fairly inflammatory language, describing the group’s actions as “Nazi-esque” and calling its members the “gay Gestapo.”

“To work for or against candidates that one feels strongly about is the democratic process in America, but this latest Nazi-esque attempt to dig up dirt on a public official’s private life crosses the line,” said McGuire.

“Senator Diaz has been a lightning rod for same-sex marriage activists displeased with his strong defense of the family. Same-sex marriage activists are merely looking for ways to agitate the deep pockets of their base in an election year. They know that Sen. Diaz has been a strong advocate for the Hispanic and African-American communities. He is loved by the people of the Bronx, and has nothing to fear from the gay Gestapo.”

Here is the text of Diaz’s letter:

July 28, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 primary elections will take place in the Democratic and Republican parties to re-elect or elect people to represent our communty in the New York State legislature.

These election results will be vital to us as Christians and God-fearing people to keep our family, moral and traditional values that our ancestors left us and that the Bible teaches us.

Senators Shirley Huntley, Frank Padavan and Hiram Monserrate were instrumental in joining me to defeat the gay marriage bill in the New York State Senate.  Today the State of New York does not have legalized gay marriage and we have to praise God and thank Senators Shirley Huntley, Frank Padavan and Hiram Monserrate.

They all risked their chances of being elected in order to take this stand.

We in the Christian community – and all God-fearing people – owe them our support, our respect and our help.

The homosexual community has targeted the three of them and put candidates – funded with money from the homosexual community – so their candidate can vote for gay marriage next year.

Therefore, I am counting on all of you to not only pray for Senators Shirley Huntley, Frank Padavan and Hiram Monserrate, but to also offer them all of the support and help that you can give during their re-election efforts or elections to another position.

As a State Senator, a Pastor, and a Christian, I need Senators Shirley Huntley, Frank Padavan and Hiram Monserrate back in the New York State legislature for next year when the gay marriage issue will take top priority in New York State. We do not have the luxury of losing these three legislators who have fought so hard for our family, moral and traditional values in the State legislature.

Respectfully,

Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz