NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council speaker is demanding an apology from a council member who said the legislative body is “controlled by the homosexual community.”
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.
On Saturday, Diaz took to Twitter to expand on his radio comments.
“What’s homophobic about saying that the gay community controls the nyc city council?” he said. “I’m giving them credit for the power and influence they have.”
Comptroller Scott M. Stringer responded to Diaz’ tweet, saying Diaz “has a practice and pattern of bigoted hate speech that has gone on way too long. Let’s send a loud message he will understand: strip him of his chairmanship and show New Yorkers this won’t be tolerated.”
Diaz Sr. is the father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Johnson tweeted last month that he is considering running for mayor in 2021, saying “It’s a big decision, but I am thinking about a potential people-powered mayoral run.”