Political pressure mounts for Ruben Diaz Sr. to step down as Bronx councilman amid homophobic comments

NEW YORK -- Members of the City Council rallied on the steps of City Hall Tuesday morning, calling for Ruben Diaz Sr. to step down as a councilman from the Bronx.

Diaz told a Spanish language radio station last week the council is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

His comments prompted a swift backlash.

When asked about the comments by PIX11 Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “I was deeply troubled by those remarks, they are inappropriate there’s no place for them. If he’s not willing to apologize he simply shouldn’t be there.”

During an interview with PIX11 Monday, Diaz said he had no plans to apologize or step down.

“I’m the victim. I’m the one being harassed. I’m the one that’s being bullied," Diaz said. “They should respect my freedom of speech, they should respect my freedom of religion."

The Standards and Ethics Committee of the City Council also met Tuesday afternoon to investigate whether Diaz violated council rules on discrimination and harassment. Diaz could face reprimand, censure, a fine or even expulsion from the City Council.

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