New York lawmaker says city council is ‘controlled by the homosexual community’
Former state senator Rubén Díaz has said that on the New York City council, “everybody is controlled by the homosexual community.”
Díaz also called city council speaker Corey Johnson a homosexual who was married to another man during the interview with Spanish-language radio show El Desahogo earlier this month, according to New York City news channel NY1.
The city councilman has refused to backtrack on his comments despite being urged to do so by many politicians including his son, Bronx borough president Rubén Díaz.
The borough president tweeted on Saturday (February 9): “The LGBTQ community is unequivocally an essential voice in our City. @revrubendiaz’s sentiments are antagonistic, quarrelsome and wholly unnecessary. He should apologise.”
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I am speaking the truth and the victim here is me. I’m the one”
— New York City councilman Rubén Díaz
Instead, the 75-year-old lawmaker, who has sat on the council for more than a year, responded to an enquiry from the New York Post on Saturday (February 9) by saying: “Apologise? No, for what?
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I am speaking the truth and the victim here is me. I’m the one.”
The Democratic politician, who spent 14 years as a state senator until he resigned in 2017, said that the outrage which his comments had sparked proved his point.
“I’m the one that is being harassed,” said Díaz. “Seeing all those elected officials joining against me, asking for my resignation and my apology, that shows how powerful and feared the gay community is in New York.”
Díaz, who is a Pentecostal minister, has also tweeted to deny that his comments were homophobic.
He asked: “What’s homophobic about saying that the gay community controls the nyc city council? I’m giving them credit for the power and influence they have.”
Johnson, who is gay and single, has called for Díaz to apologise. A statement from his office read: “Council Member Díaz’s homophobic comments are offensive to both the Speaker and the body, and have no place in New York City.
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