“After considerable deliberation and introspection, I support marriage equality.

“My decision, which comes after years of thought and reflection on the issue, is informed by the experiences I have had with close friends, family and loved ones.

“For example, my chief-of-staff, Paul Del Duca, has for decades worked to help the people of this City. He has helped people find housing and jobs, he has dedicated his professional life to assisting those in need. Why, then, should he and his partner Damion—whose wedding I stood witness to—be denied the same rights of any other loving and committed couple? Moreover, why should my niece, Erica Diaz, be denied the ability to get married when her time comes?

“When marriage equality was made legal in 2011, many opponents predicted that it would have negative consequences. That has certainly not been the case. It is my contention that our city and our state are better off than they were before marriage equality became the law. Not only has our city seen an incredible financial impact from marriage equality, the quality of life for myself, my family and my friends has not suffered one bit.

“Right now, the Supreme Court is preparing to decide on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. I strongly believe that this law should be struck down. The marriages of thousands of New Yorkers and other LGBT individuals across the United States should be afforded the same federal rights, benefits, and recognition as my own marriage.

“Individuals who love one another, regardless of their sexual orientation, should not be denied the benefits of marriage. It is time for the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.