Gay rights groups have accused New York
gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino of encouraging anti-gay
The Republican's Sunday remarks to
Orthodox Jewish leaders are being criticized by gay rights groups.
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
to Newsday.com, Paladino omitted the following sentence from his
speech: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional
remarks come as New Yorkers cope with a brutal hate crime spree
against 3 gay men.
“Paladino's outrageous remarks are an
embarrassment to fair-minded New Yorkers,” Jarrett Barrios,
president of the media watchdog group Gay & Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation (GLAAD), said in a statement. “This vile
language is putting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in
harm's way. It does nothing but contribute to a climate that
encourages incidents like the recent brutal anti-gay attacks in New
York City and the anti-gay bullying that led to numerous teen
suicides over the last month.”
“It is unfathomable that Carl
Paladino could espouse the homophobic position that the lives of gay
New Yorkers are not as valid as his,” Ross D. Levi, executive
director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's largest gay
rights advocate, said.
In a Monday appearance on ABC's Good
Morning America, Paladino
dismissed charges by the Cuomo campaign that his remarks were
“You know, at first he called me an
anti-Semitic. Now he wants to call me a homophobic. I'm not a
homophobic. I have no reservations whatsoever about gays only –
except for marriage,” he told George Stephanopoulos.
But later in the interview, Paladino
says children should not be exposed to gay pride parades.
“It wasn't pretty,” he says,
referring to a Toronto parade he stumbled across with his wife. “It
was a bunch of very extreme type people in bikini type outfits
grinding at each other and doing these gyrations. And I certainly
wouldn't let my young children see that.”