Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, is under siege by both conservatives and Democrats for saying that he did not want his children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality” was an acceptable option.
Paladino, a property developer-turned-Tea-Party-hero-politician, who previously has come under fire for forwarding racist and pornographic emails, made the remarks while addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn on Sunday.
“I didn’t march in the gay parade this year – the gay pride parade this year. My opponent (Democratic challenger Andrew Cuomo) did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children,” Paladino said.
“And don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way, that would be a dastardly lie. My approach is live and let live.
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.”
Paladino’s remarks have been accused of raising the risk of attacks on gay men after several recent anti-gay crimes in New York, including an assault at the Stonewall Inn in the West Village and a brutal anti-gay gang attack in the Bronx.
Appearing on FOX’s “FOX & Friends” Monday morning, Paladino had this to say: “I know the difficulties that homosexuals suffer. I have a nephew and I have employees who work for me who are of that persuasion and we have never had a problem and I say that very clearly, unequivocally. None.”
Cuomo, the gubernatorial front runner, released a statement saying Paladino’s remarks showed “stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality.”
Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox said, “We condemn any remarks that can be construed as homophobic.”
Paladino also has a ten-year-old daughter from an extramarital affair with a former employee.