From: NYpost.com

Bronx lawmaker refuses to apologize for anti-gay remarks

By Cedar Attanasio and Max Jaeger
February 10, 2019

Bronx lawmaker refuses to apologize for anti-gay remarks
Photo by Richard Harbus
 

City Councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr. said Sunday that he’d rather give up his powerful committee assignments than apologize to openly gay Speaker Corey Johnson for his homophobic comments.

Diaz Sr. — who was appointed by Johnson to committees on land use, public housing and transportation — again refused to apologize for saying last week that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

Johnson is “asking for an apology, you know that,” the preacher politician Diaz told The Post outside his church.

Refusing to offer a mea culpa, Diaz added, “If he had to take away my [positions] away from me, I would understand that.”
Johnson said Sunday he is weighing his options.

“We are currently reviewing all potential disciplinary scenarios. Nothing is off the table,” Johnson said, citing Diaz’s “indefensible refusal to apologize or even acknowledge the hurt he has caused” — as well as the “many” council members who have called for Diaz Sr.’s censure or ouster.

The council’s LGBTQ Caucus and Women’s Caucus demanded his resignation in a joint statement Sunday.

But Diaz Sr. doubled down on his controversial remarks — and claimed that Albany, too, was under the “control” of the gay community.

“People don’t want me to speak the truth,” Diaz Sr. said. “They not only control City Council, they control the politics in the state.”

Meanwhile, the Stetson-hat-wearing politician, who voted to block gay marriage as a state senator, insisted that he supports Johnson, if not his lifestyle.

“How could I be homophobic when I voted for him, for Corey Johnson, to be speaker?” he said.

Diaz Sr. walked back false claims he made that Johnson was married — although he said he’d boycott the speaker’s nuptials if he ever did get hitched.

“No, no, no,” said Diaz Sr., who added that he has two gay siblings, a gay granddaughter and a gay niece. “I didn’t even go to my niece . . . my brother, I got a brother, I got [a] sister . . . I’m surrounded by gay [people].”

Committee chairs used to receive stipends of $8,000 to $20,000, giving speakers financial leverage over council members vying for the lucrative appointments. But the practice was eliminated when the body gave itself a raise in 2016.

Gay-rights leaders demanded that Johnson at least strip Diaz Sr. of his extra duties while demanding his resignation.

“This is so disrespectful and demeaning to the gay community,” said Allen Roskoff, president of the gay Jim Owles Democratic Club.

“I demand that Corey Johnson strip Díaz Sr of his committee first thing Monday morning,” Roskoff added.

Additional reporting by Carl Campanile

Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. Charles Bayor
  5. John Blair
  6. Mark Benoit
  7. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  8. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  9. Matthew Bond
  10. Erik Bottcher
  11. Hon. Gale Brewer
  12. Danny Burstein
  13. Robin Byrd
  14. Tiffany Cabán
  15. Christian Campbell
  16. Gus Christensen
  17. Hon. Martin Connor
  18. Tom Connor
  19. Hon. Jon Cooper
  20. Wilson Cruz
  21. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  22. Alan Cumming
  23. Michael Czaczkes
  24. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  25. Aries Dela Cruz
  26. Jon Del Giorno
  27. Kyan Douglas
  28. James Duff
  29. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  30. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  31. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  32. Marc Fliedner
  33. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  34. William Gerlich
  35. Dan Gettleman
  36. Jason Goldman
  37. Emily Jane Goodman
  38. Hon. Mark Green
  39. Tony Hoffmann
  40. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  41. Binn Jakupi
  42. Hon. Letitia James
  43. Hon. Corey Johnson
  44. Camille Joseph
  45. Phillip Keane
  46. Suzanne Kessler
  47. Yetta Kurland
  48. Dodge Landesman
  49. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  50. Phillip McCarthy
  51. Matt McMorrow
  52. Michael Mallon
  53. Mike C. Manning
  54. David Mansur
  55. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  56. Troy Masters
  57. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  58. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  59. John Cameron Mitchell
  60. Donny Moss
  61. Barry Mullineaux
  62. Denis O'Hare
  63. America Olivo Campbell
  64. Noah Pfefferbilt
  65. Josue Pierre
  66. Bob Pontarelli
  67. Billy Porter
  68. Hon. Keith Powers
  69. Randy Rainbow
  70. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  71. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  72. Maer Roshan
  73. Sheila Rule
  74. Toby Russo
  75. Bill Samuels
  76. James Sansum
  77. Scott Sartiano
  78. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  79. Lynn Schulman
  80. Cecile Scott
  81. Frank Selvaggi
  82. Rev. Al Sharpton
  83. David Siffert
  84. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  85. Kathy Slawinski
  86. Tom Smith
  87. Anne Strahle
  88. Hon. Scott Stringer
  89. Wayne Sunday
  90. Hon. Bill Thompson
  91. JD Thompson
  92. Bjorn Thorstad
  93. Hon. Matt Titone
  94. Jessica Walter
  95. Barry Weinberg
  96. Seth Weissman
  97. Hon. Jumaane Williams
  98. Emma Wolfe
  99. Hon. Keith Wright
  100. Zephyr Teachout