The upstate New York politician who said gay people should be sent to an island, where they'll die out, has resigned from the Albany County Legislature.
George Langdon IV, a Republican, resigned Monday and issued a second statement of apology, after his first one last week, Albany's Times Union newspaper reports. Albany County includes the city of Albany, which is New York's capital.
"I again express my sincerest apologies to all those who were hurt by my rash and thoughtless statements," he said. "It was never my intention to single-out or target anyone. I truly believe every individual should have the right to life and liberty in their pursuit of happiness."
Langdon had appeared at a right-wing conference titled A Return to Liberty Under the Constitution, held the last weekend in March. Video of the Albany-area event shows him saying same-sex relationships are not "perpetual" and not in keeping with God's design for humanity.
"Everything God does is sustainable, it's sustainable," he said in the video, which circulated on social media. "It's perpetual. ... Sorry, when you have homosexual relationships, it's not perpetual. Give them an island, they'll be gone in 40 years. Because God created us this way. There's so much common sense that needs to be applied to our policies, our procedures that we do in our government." He also said the concept of separation of church and state is "bogus."
The event featured many far-right speakers and was cohosted by William Tryon, who is facing misdemeanor charges tied to his participation in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol January 6.
Langdon began facing calls for his resignation last week, and he issued an apology Thursday, saying he was not homophobic and didn't think any individuals should be placed on an island. He said he had made a "foolish off-the cuff comment" and promised to do "a better job of respecting diversity."
The county legislature was scheduled to vote next Monday on a resolution censuring Langdon. It now has 40 days to appoint someone to fill the remainder of his term.
Both Majority Leader Dennis Feeney, a Democrat, and Minority Leader Frank Mauriello, a Republican, praised Langdon's decision to resign. "With his resignation, the people of his district will be free to choose a representative who shares their values of inclusivity and acceptance," Feeney told the Times Union.
"His recent statements were offensive and wrong," Mauriello added. "He is apologetic and understands the hurtful nature of his remarks. I wish George well in all his future endeavors."