Council Members Call For Diaz Sr. To Resign Over Homophobic Comments

February 11, 2019 - 1:35 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — City Councilmember Ritchie Torres said Monday that fellow councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. “should be ashamed of himself” after the Bronx lawmaker refused to apologize for his homophonic comments.

Diaz Sr. said last week that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

Both Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Bronx Councilman Torres are openly gay and have demanded Diaz apologize for the hateful comment.

“His comments are appalling, it's unbecoming of him as an elected official, and you know, imagine if he had said, ‘the council were controlled by blacks’ or ‘the council were controlled by Jews,’ there would be no debate about what the consequences should be,” Torres told WCBS 880. “You know, everyone is calling for an apology, but more important than an apology is accountability. He should be accountable for using the power of his office to stoke fear and hatred about a set of people.”

Diaz said Sunday that he’d rather give up his positions in the council than apologize for his statement. He has also said that he will not resign.

“The council needs to hold him accountable. It could mean suspending him of committee chair or removing his committee chairmanship,” Torres said. “There has to be consequences when elected officials abuse their power and use their power to demonize others.”

Speaker Johnson on Sunday said the council is “reviewing all potential disciplinary scenarios.”

The council’s LGBTQ Caucus and Women’s Caucus have also demanded Diaz’s resignation in a joint statement.

Diaz told the Daily News that what he said is not homophobic. Of his comments he said, “it’s the truth.”