The recent comments from Council Member Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr. were a malicious and repulsive attack on the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Council Member Diaz has attacked the LGBTQ community, from opposing marriage equality to denigrating transgender individuals. His recent comments come without regret or apology.
At a time when, at the federal level, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ sentiment is blatant, protections for LGBTQ people are being threatened, LGBTQ youth are becoming homeless, and violence against LGBTQ individuals is rising, homophobic comments suggesting that the LGBTQ community ‘controls New York City Council’ obscures the hate and invisibility this vulnerable community actually faces. Instead of validating anti-LGBTQ sentiments at the federal level, New York City officials should be validating and affirming support for the LGBTQ community, working to ensure that the city is and remains a safe and supportive space for all New Yorkers.
In solidarity and support of the LGBT Caucus, Speaker Johnson and the greater LGBTQ community, we call on Council Member Diaz to resign his position effective immediately. Furthermore, we call upon the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics to open an investigation into this matter and act swiftly. His failure to respect the institution in which he serves and the Bronx constituents that rely on him to protect them combined with his inability to understand that his comments have real world consequences leave us with no other option but to call for new representation.
The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council stands up to hate in all its forms. We join the LGBT caucus in affirming that all New Yorkers, especially Council Member Diaz’s LGBTQ constituents, should know that hate has no place in our city.