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N.Y. Republican: Gays Are "Dysfunctional"

N.Y. Republican: Gays Are "Dysfunctional"

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Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, said Sunday that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and attacked his Democratic opponent, Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, for marching in the gay pride parade this year.

According to The New York Times, Paladino made the comments to a gathering of Orthodox Jewish leaders at Congregation Shaarei Chaim in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The remarks were first reported on Twitter by correspondents for WNYC and Newsday, which reported that Paladino had omitted the remark, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," included in his prepared text.

"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," said Paladino.

He added, to applause in the synagogue, "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."

The remarks drew a sharp rebuke from the Cuomo campaign.

"Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality," said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto. "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."

A spokesman for Paladino denied that the candidate, a wealthy Buffalo businessman, was homophobic, according to the Times. He said the majority of New Yorkers agreed with Paladino.

"Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic," said the spokesman. "Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church."

Paladino, who opposes marriage equality, told a gathering of business leaders last week that he would not sign a marriage equality bill if it were passed by the state legislature, but he would enforce the results of a voter referendum on the issue.

New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, who is gay, denounced the remarks as "dangerous," especially in light of recent LGBT youth suicides and a series of high-profile antigay assaults in New York City, including a brutal gang-related incident in the Bronx.

"Given the horrifying anti-LGBT hate crime recently in the Bronx where four people were brutally attacked, the bullying of Tyler Clementi which led him to take his own life, and the recent rash of suicides by at least seven LGBT youth, Mr. Paladino should be ashamed for his hateful and backward remarks," said Quinn.

Speaker Quinn, other out council members, and advocates planned to denounce the comments at a press conference late Monday morning prior to the Columbus Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan.

The Log Cabin Republicans of New York, who have not endorsed Paladino yet, joined the outcry against his words.

"Carl Paladino's statements are unfortunate and show he lacks an understanding of what it means to be gay," said New York state chairman Gregory T. Angelo. "Allow me to offer a counter to his misinformed statement: I think gay men and women -- my neighbors and your neighbors -- would be much better off and much more successful if they were allowed equal rights and the option of getting married and raising a family. I don't want New Yorkers to be brainwashed into thinking that ignorance is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't."

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