Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the cleric who
introduced Carl Paladino to his ultra-Orthodox community, withdrew
his support for the New York Republican gubernatorial candidate after
he apologized for his anti-gay remarks, the New York Post
Levin told the paper that Paladino was
pressured by his family to apologize for saying in a speech on Sunday
to Orthodox Jewish leaders that his opposition to gay marriage stems
from not wanting children “brainwashed into thinking that
homosexuality” is acceptable.
Paladino initially defended his remarks
and chided his rival Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic state attorney
general, for taking his children to a gay pride parade, which
Paladino described as “extreme type people in bikini type outfits
grinding at each other and doing these gyrations.”
But on Tuesday, the Tea Party favorite
backed down, saying he was sorry “for any comment that may have
offended the gay and lesbian community.”
Paladino's nephew, Jeff Hannon, whom
the candidate has repeatedly pointed to as proof that he's not
homophobic, told the Post that he was “offended” by his
uncle's anti-gay rant.
“He [Paladino campaign manager
Michael Caputo] said he had to do it because of his nephew,” Levin
“Mazel tov. We'll have a coming out
party. But when he came to me three days ago, he didn't know that?
I find this to be condescending,” he added, then told the paper
that he was withdrawing his support for the candidate.