Andres Duque reports at Blabbeando:
Last week former Dominican Republic president Hipólito Mejía brought a new bid for the Caribbean nation’s presidency to the United States. I hadn’t paid much attention until NY1 Noticias played a clip of statements he made while in New York citing the Bible and saying he opposed same-sex marriage. “I call bread ‘bread’ and wine ‘wine.’ The other day [Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.] asked my opinion regarding same-sex marriage,” Mejia says, “Be fruitful and multiply? There is no way you can do it that way!” meaning gays cannot procreate and, hence, should not be able to marry. Neither the statements nor the setting were a surprise. Mejía enjoys a strong relationship with Senator Diaz, perhaps the leading Latino anti-marriage equality voice in the nation, and has allowed the Senator to host previous press conferences.
At the Diaz event Mejía admitted he once confronted gay issues with overt homophobia. “In the past I used to have a have a deadly antagonistic stance [against gays]” he says, “Nowadays I can even laugh about it.” If that was in the past, he seems to have forgotten about it the next day when he made a campaign appearance in New Jersey. Standing before a campaign flag that promises “equality,” Mejía doesn’t mention same-sex marriage but jokes that his campaign handlers wanted him to wear a wig during media appearances if he wanted poll numbers to improve. Then he says: “There are people who can change everything about you, even the way you sit down” and says they tried to convince him to sit “the way a little faggot does.” The place erupts in laughter.
RELATED: The speaker of the New York City Council reacts:
“I am appalled that a former Dominican Republic president and a potential future presidential candidate has used a derogatory term that is offensive, inappropriate and hurtful toward LGBT people. President Mejia needs to apologize to the LGBT community in his country and here in New York, where he made this unacceptable statement. Leaders are called to unite people, not divide us. That includes those who invited him here and stayed silent when discrimination occured and even worse, laughed at it. I stand with the LGBT community here, in the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, and I will not be silent when bigotry shows its ugly face.”