Ruben Diaz Sr. refuses to apologize amid accusations of homophobic comments
A Bronx city councilman says he will not apologize to the LGBTQ community after being accused of making homophobic comments on TV.
Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. spoke exclusively with News 12 The Bronx regarding comments he recently made on a local program, "El Desahogo," which was first reported by NY1.
Diaz Sr. says he went on the show to discuss his work as chair of the New York City Council's For-Hire Vehicle Committee and to talk about why he needs supports of councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, who is running for public advocate.
On the show, Diaz Sr. said the City Council is controlled by homosexuals. The conservative Democrat, who is against gay marriage, said he feels somewhat handcuffed in the City Council because of the LGBTQ community.
"They're not the victim," he said. "I am giving them credit. They are in control, they have power, influence."
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson's office condemned Councilman Diaz's comments, stating that the remarks "are offensive to both the speaker and the body, and have no place in New York City. He should apologize to all of his colleagues, and the entire LGBTQ community."
Johnson's office went on to say that all council committee appointments are based on merit, expertise and familiarity with issues, and that Diaz Sr. represents many of the For-Hire vehicle drivers that the council has been trying to help.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called his father's sentiments antagonistic, quarrelsome and wholly unnecessary.
Diaz Sr. did admit that the only thing he misspoke about was saying Speaker Johnson is married to another man. Johnson is single.
On the same program, he reportedly also talked about a deal he made with his son and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo to run the For-Hire Vehicle Committee that regulates the taxi industry.
Diaz Sr. says that he now fears his committee position will be taken away from him, even though he says he supports Johnson and hired a gay man to work on his committee.