NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A day after the New York City Council dissolved a committee chaired by Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. as punishment for comments many called homophobic remarks, the councilman’s supporters rallied outside his office.
Chanting and holding signs, the crowd gave Diaz a rock star welcome Thursday outside his council officer, reports CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
Surrounded by his granddaughter and nephew – both part of the LGBTQ community – he told the crowd and reporters that he had no plans to resign.
Yesterday the city council voted 45 to one to dissolve the for-hire vehicle committee chaired by Diaz.
“I regret appointing council member Diaz to be chair and I believe the only way forward is to dissolve this committee,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “He doesn’t belong in a leadership position… words matter.”
Johnson said the legislative work of that committee was complete and any future work world be transferred over the Transportation Commission.
Diaz Sr. also took shots at his critics, namely council member Jimmy Van Bramer and Johnson, saying he’s helped many people over the years.
“I’m good for my people to go out knocking on doors looking for petition, but when I’m down on the floor where are you?” he said.
“(It) doesn’t mean there can’t be redemption or make right on past mistakes, but when someone doubles down, triples down, they’re the victim that totally changes things,” said Johnson.
Although not making any apologies, Diaz Sr. did say he thought that the word homosexual was offensive.
and that “the word homosexual – I’m not gonna use it any longer.”
He also yelled into the mic and asked for people to stop asking him to apologize.
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.”