New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino attacked gay marriage in a speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday.

The Republican candidate made his remarks at a synagogue in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, the New York Times reported.

In contrasting his views on gay marriage with those of his opponent, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic state attorney general, Paladino said his opposition to the institution stems from not wanting children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality” is acceptable.

“I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option – it isn't,” he said.

The Tea Party favorite added: “I didn't march in the gay parade this year – the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that's not the example we should be showing our children.” (Video is embedded in the right panel on this page.)

According to, Paladino omitted the following sentence from his speech: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.”

The Cuomo campaign called Paladino's remarks homophobic.

“Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality,” the campaign said in a statement. “These comments along with other views he has espoused make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York.”

Paladion and campaign staffers both insisted that the candidate wasn't anti-gay.

“Don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way,” Paladino warned reporters. “That would be a dastardly lie.”

“Carl Paladino is simply expressing his views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic,” campaign manager Michael R. Caputo told the paper. “Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church.”

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week shows Cuomo holding an 18-point lead over Paladino.