A spokesman for Speaker Corey Johnson issued a statement Friday saying comments by Ruben Diaz Sr. “have no place in New York City” and the Bronx Democrat should apologize to his colleagues and the LGBTQ community.
In a Spanish-language radio program, Diaz, who is a Pentecostal minister, said the homosexual community controls most of the 51 council members. The 75-year-old, Puerto Rican-born politician, who opposes same-sex marriage, called Johnson a “homosexual married to another man.” The speaker is openly gay and single.
Diaz’s own son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., condemned his father Saturday. Diaz Jr. took to Twitter to call his father’s sentiments “antagonistic, quarrelsome and wholly unnecessary. He should apologize.”
Paul Schindler, Editor in Chief of “Gay City News,” called out Councilman Diaz, telling PIX11’s Jennifer Bisram today, “This kind of treatment of a community has to be called out.”
“If someone were to say ‘I got to the City Council and found out that the Jews run it,’ or ‘I got to the City Council and found out that the Blacks run it,’ or ‘the Dominicans run it,’ people would be up in arms,” Schindler said to us. “I’d like a full apology from him,” he added.
Councilmember Diaz Sr. is reportedly refusing to apologize, saying his comments were not homophobic.
Johnson and Diaz Sr. did not immediately respond to messages left on Saturday.