Statement on Endorsement of Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr., by ally New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Equality New York PAC was disappointed to learn that New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez made a formal announcement yesterday endorsing Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr., for City Council at a local event. Diaz, Sr., is a known enemy of civil rights for LGBTQI people.

Council Member Rodriguez’s endorsement of Diaz, Sr., came only weeks after receiving the endorsement of New York City’s largest LGBTQI Democratic club.

The news that yet another progressive Democrat who claims to be an ally chose to support a staunch anti-LGBTQI candidate for elected office is beyond disappointing. It is a slap in the faces of people who have supported Council Member Rodriguez for many years.

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez has said though Ruben Diaz, Sr., supports anti-LGBTQ and anti-women policies, he is good to his constituents. That is the height of hypocrisy. Thousands of LGBTQI New Yorkers live in Council District 18, where Diaz, Sr., is running for the currently vacant seat. You can not be an effective leader for your constituents if you continue to advocate vehemently against the basic inalienable rights of a certain group within your constituents.

To say we are disappointed to hear the news of this endorsement is an understatement. Council Member Rodriguez has been a fierce ally of LGBTQI communities in New York City, even helping to launch an LGBT task force for his community board. His endorsement of Diaz, Sr., threatens not only LGBTQI residents of the Bronx, but those of the entire City of New York given the role the City Council plays in both fiscal and legislative issues relating to the myriad concerns faced by LGBTQI people. In a time when our rights are being attacked by the federal government and in all 50 states, we can make no room for bigots in elected office, at any level of government.

In the strongest of terms, we ask that Council Member Rodriguez – and all leaders who consider themselves allies of LGBTQI communities – withdraw his endorsement of Diaz, Sr., immediately. To be an ally of LGBTQI people, you must recognize that we are part of every community, and stand for equality and justice for all.