Image: Carl Paladino
Kathy Willens  /  AP
Carl P. Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, with Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, left, and another Orthodox Jewish supporter after his campaign stops at the K’Hal Aadas Kasho synagogue in Williamsburg on Sunday.
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updated 10/10/2010 10:41:18 PM ET 2010-10-11T02:41:18

The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year.

Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“That’s not how God created us,” he said, reading from a prepared address.

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“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.”

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: “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.” Newsday.com reported that Mr. Paladino’s prepared text had included the sentence: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” But Mr. Paladino omitted the sentence in his speech.

Story: Paladino: No regrets over gay remarks

About an hour after Mr. Paladino’s remarks, Mr. Cuomo’s campaign released a statement condemning them.

“Mr. Paladino’s statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality,” it said. “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.”

Video: Paladino: Kids shouldn’t see Speedo-clad men ‘grinding’ (on this page)

Mr. Paladino declined a request to be interviewed after his appearance. His campaign manager, Michael R. Caputo, denied assertions that Mr. Paladino was antigay, and noted that he employed a gay man on his campaign staff.

“Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic,” Mr. Caputo said in a telephone interview. “Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church.”

“The majority of New Yorkers agree with him,” Mr. Caputo added. He said the campaign had done its own polling.

During his appearance at the synagogue, with reporters in attendance, Mr. Paladino said: “Don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie.”

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A same-sex marriage bill was defeated last year by New York lawmakers. Mr. Paladino has said that, unlike Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, he would veto such a bill if he were governor. But Mr. Caputo said that if the same measure passed in a statewide referendum, Mr. Paladino would uphold the law.

Brian Ellner, head of the marriage initiative for the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said that the Republican’s remarks were insensitive given a recent swirl of news about suicide in the gay community and antigay violence.

Story: DA: Anti-gay NYC attack laced with hate speech

The New York City Police Department announced on Friday that nine men in the Bronx had lured three men they believed were gay and then tortured them, burning them and sodomizing one of them with a small baseball bat. Last month, a student at Rutgers University jumped off the George Washington Bridge after two classmates broadcast his sexual encounter with a man over the Internet.

Mr. Paladino’s statements in Brooklyn were first broadcast by Azi Paybarah, a reporter for WNYC, and Reid Epstein of Newsday, on Twitter.

A recent CNN pollfound that 58 percent of people in New York were in favor of gay marriage.

This article, "Paladino attacks gays in Brooklyn speech," first appeared in The New York Times.

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times

Video: Paladino: Kids shouldn’t see Speedo-clad men ‘grinding’

  1. Closed captioning of: Paladino: Kids shouldn’t see Speedo-clad men ‘grinding’

    >> mr. paladino, welcome back, good to see you. if you are elected governor of new york , will you active le re lere -- actively recruit gays in.

    >> wherever their expertise might be, we'll put them in our government.

    >> and it doesn't matter if those people talk about being openly gay , even if they have been brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid sexual option?

    >> that remark has to do with schooling children. my feelings on homosexuality are unequivocal, i have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. my only reservation is marriage. that's the only reservation i have. i have a lot of homosexuals working in my organization.

    >> but you didn't say that you don't want children to be brainwashed into thinking that gay marriage is an equally valid or successful option, you said to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. first of all an option, if it's not equally valid or successful, is it a stupid option?

    >> the discrimination against homosexuals is horrible, it's terrible.

    >> did you talk to your nephew before you said that?

    >> i have talked to him.

    >> i'm not talking about him being brainwashed. i'm talking about young children. young children should not be exposed to that at a young age, they don't understand it. it's a very difficult thing and exposing them to homosexuality, especially at a gay pride parade and i don't know if you have ever been to one, but they wear these little speedos and they grind against each other and it's just a terrible thing.

    >> let's use the second part of the quote, that homosexuality is an equally or successful option. one can only deduce from that comment that you do not think that the homosexual lifestyle is equal to the heterosexual lifestyle.

    >> it's a very, very ugly, okay, experience for those that are discriminated against, it's terrible, and it shouldn't be. our society should be more accepting.

    >> but don't comments like that create more discrimination? if the lifestyle isn't as valid or successful, why shouldn't people treat homosexuals the same way as they treat heterosexuals?

    >> if the press doesn't interpret my remarks properly and they want to skewer them, that's wrong where i come from.

    >> when you say your talk from your heart, my impression of that remark was that you weren't speaking from your heart that you were reading from notes.

    >> that section of my presentation was written, okay, and it was handed to a staffer and it was put into the -- i crossed it out, i crossed out the --

    >> if that's the way it works, you agree to go speak to a group and that group gets to write the comments you need to make before that group?

    >> it was a discussion and they went too far in that discussion, and i crossed all that stuff out. the only part that i said was what you just quoted.

    >> i don't know whether it was the one of the leaders of the group that you were talking to or one of your staff members, actually had a line that said homosexuality is dysfunctional.

    >> i did not say that. that's unacceptable.

    >> was that written by a staff member or was that written by the a member of the group you were talking to?

    >> i crossed it out in the car and i didn't say it and to repeat it is wrong.

    >> let's say a staff member of yours wrote it.

    >> a staff member did not write it.

    >> so a member of the congregation did.

    >> somebody wrote that paragraph.

    >> if you're running for the highest office in the state of new york and you show up at events and they hand you a piece of paper and say here, that is what you have to say.

    >> i read it and i crossed out that remark about dysfunctional. that is not me, period.

    >> you said you aren't calling for people to harm homosexuals, my approach is live and let live . do you think anybody watching that event and watching you read those words gets the live and let live part of that philosophy?

    >> i would hope so because that's me.

    >> we have gone through a period of time in recent weeks where there's been violence against homosexuals, three men were attacked, i believe it was in brooklyn, in the bronx, excuse me. there was an attack at the famous stone wall in. there was a suicide of a gay student at rutgers. you're saying you don't want to bring harm to homosexuals, but are you worried that you might incite someone that's not as open minded as you claim to be?

    >> mr. cuomo took his daughters to a guy pride parade , is that normal? would you do it? would you take your children to a gay pride parade ?

    >> i think you can probably expose your children to a lot of different things and help them make a decision.

    >> i don't think you should go and watch grown men grind against each other, i think it's disgusting. that days before the primary, the poll had me down one point, i won by 26 points, you tell me how valid the polls are this year. the polls are all messed up because they can't predict the turnout. if they could predict the turnout, they might be a little bit better, but they're all over the place. i didn't listen to the polls, the polls that i will listen to is on november 2.

    >> speaking to the voters in new york who are trying to make up their minds in this kras right now, can you speak to them and tell them that you will be a governor for all the people of new york and open minded about who you will include in your administration and your government?

    >> i say unequivocally that i will be a governor for all the people of new york and i have never moved off of that position. and yes, it got confused, but this is a clear illustration.

    >> do you regret the remark?

    >> no, i don't regret the remark, the remarks that i made believe in. the remark that was deleted is nobody's business, it was put in there by somebody and i'm not responsible for that, i'm only responsible for what i say. and i have always stood by whatever i say. it started by anti-semitic. and i met with 200 jewish leaders yesterday and they embrace me. and they don't believe that i'm anti-semit anti-semitic. all the people in buffalo came out and said he's not a racist and now we're into phase three and the press keeps doing andrew's work. but i'm fine with that. we'll keep vetting out issues and we're going to have some none next week at the debate because andrew has to account for himself.

    >> carl paladino, i appreciate you coming back.

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