Three days after he asked for an apology that he never received, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson now wants Bronx Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr. to resign.
"I think he should resign," Johnson said to members of the media on Monday. "It's not up to me, but I think what he said is totally unacceptable."
Johnson was referring to a radio interview that the Bronx councilman gave to a Spanish-language show more than a week ago, in which Díaz claimed the City Council is "controlled by the homosexual community."
"When you say things like that, you are a homophobe," Johnson, who is gay, said about Díaz's comments.
During the radio interview, Díaz also explained how he requested to chair the Committee on For-Hire Vehicles as part of the Bronx delegation deal to help Johnson become speaker early last year.
"I regret the fact I made him chair," Johnson said.
Over the weekend, many City Council members and elected officials asked Díaz for an apology, including his own son, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr.
When Díaz Sr. refused, many began calling for his resignation, starting with Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
"What he was saying is that while there's five openly-gay members of the City Council right now out of 51 — less than 10 percent — we have somehow amassed far too much power," Van Bramer said.
Others are willing to give their colleague a second chance. "If he can apologize and move on and learn from his mistakes, like all of us he is entitled to redemption and a second chance. I would be willing to give him a second chance because I think he is a good man," said Brooklyn Councilman Eric Ulrich, a Republican running for Public Advocate.
But Díaz sees no wrong and refuses to say he's sorry.
"He could do the right thing now and apologize and that could change the situation," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "But if he refuses to do it, he should leave."
"I think it's disrespectful and in very poor taste," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "If he should be sanctioned, that's up to the council president, Corey Johnson."
Díaz's incendiary remarks on LGBTQ issues are not new. During a 2009 interview on NY1 Noticias talk show Pura Política, when asked about whether being gay was an option, the then-state senator said: "It's like having sex with animals. A lot of people want that, too," he said in Spanish.
Díaz didn't respond to our request for comment. His supporters are planning to gather at noon at his Bronx office this Thursday.
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