Campaigning in front of Orthodox Jewish voters in Williamsburg yesterday, Republican nominee for New York governor Carl Paladino launched into an anti-gay tirade, declaring that being gay is not “an equal, valid option.”
“I don’t want [kids] brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t,” Paladino reportedly told his conservative audience. The remarks came after Paladino reiterated yesterday he would veto any gay marriage bills that come before him should he be elected to governor.
Democratic candidate and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo immediately seized on Paladino’s comments, saying they “make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream.”
Paladino skipped over a second part of his prepared speech that read, according to reports: “I didn’t march in the Gay Pride parade this year. My opponent did. There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us.”
Paladino’s remarks came days after members of a Bronx gang allegedly beat and tortured three men for being gay. Though Paladino said later he meant no harm against gays: “My approach is live and let live.”
“His comments signal to gay New Yorkers that they deserve to be less equal than everyone else,” said Sean Eldridge, of Freedom to Marry. “Which is particularly troubling in light of recent anti-gay attacks in New York and the recent wave of suicides.”