The City Council’s LGBT and Women’s caucuses called on Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. to resign after he said in a recent interview that “the Council is controlled by the homosexual community.”
The caucuses released a joint statement Sunday afternoon, saying the 75-year-old Bronx elected official had a history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions — including voting against the state’s Marriage Equality Act — and saying he should not be part of the city’s governing body. NY1 first reported that Diaz Sr. made the comments to the radio show “El Desahogo” earlier this month.
“Council Member Diaz’s comments this week show that he is only doubling down on offensiveness and bigotry,” the caucuses said in a statement.
In addition to his resignation, the Council members called on the Council Committee on Standards and Ethics to investigate Diaz Sr.
What’s homophobic about saying that the gay community controls the nyc city council ? I’m giving them credit for the power and influence they have.— Rev Ruben Diaz (@revrubendiaz) February 9, 2019
“I didn’t say anything wrong, so I don’t need to apologize,” Diaz Sr. told amNewYork Sunday evening.
Diaz Sr. likened his comments to saying that “Dominicans control the bodegas . . . Is there anything wrong with saying that?”
He continued: “The only people who can ask for my resignation are the residents of the 18th Council District in November of 2021.”
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson responded to the calls for discipline against Diaz, noting that he “feels their anger and pain.”
“We are currently reviewing all potential disciplinary scenarios. Nothing is off the table,” he said in a statement Sunday afternoon.
With Vincent Barone