New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino (R) made the cable news rounds Monday, defending his weekend remarks that he doesn’t want children “to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn’t.”
In several appearances, Paladino insisted “I’m not a homophobic. I have no reservations whatsoever about gays, except for marriage.”
Paladino made his initial remarks to Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn on Sunday, as part of an attack on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) for going to a gay pride parade with his children: “I did not march in the gay pride parade this year, my opponent did. And that’s not the example that we should be showing our children.”
He continued: “I don’t want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn’t.”
Watch the video:
On Fox and Friends today, Paladino said, “I unequivocally have no reservations about homosexuality. I know the difficulties that homosexuals suffer.”
But, he added, he doesn’t think Cuomo should have taken his children to a parade where there are “men in Speedos, grinding and doing things to each other.”
That was a sentiment he repeated on Good Morning America, where he talked about a pride parade he “stumbled” onto in Toronto: “It wasn’t pretty. It was a bunch of very extreme type people in bikini type outfits, grinding at each other, and doing these gyrations, and I certainly wouldn’t let my young children to see that.”
“Young people should not necessarily be exposed to that,” he also said, but maintained that it doesn’t mean he has a problem with gay people: “My feelings about homosexuality are no different than those of the Catholic Church.”
Paladino’s written remarks also contained this statement: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us.” Paladino did not actually say this in his delivered speech, and denied that he was the one who wrote the statement into his remarks.
“I did not say that,” he said on F&F, but “I stand behind everything I did say.”
On GMA he also said he’s had “difficulty” with the question of whether or not being gay is a choice, though on The Early Show he said: “I think it’s a matter of birth.”
His campaign released this statement yesterday on the incident:
In my speech today to Orthodox Jewish leaders in New York City, I noted my opposition to gay marriage, inspired by my Catholic beliefs. I also oppose discrimination of any form. I did not say this phrase, as was inaccurately attributed to me by some media outlets:
“There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us.”
I do not agree with this passage, nor did I say it. Apparently a few reporters relied upon suggested remarks distributed by my hosts at the synagogue in Williamsburg after my departure, not the actual statement I made. My campaign staff has worked with the inaccurate outlets and most corrected their stories after viewing video of the event.
I unequivocally have no other reservations about homosexuality. I enjoy a close relationship with my nephew who is gay and I certainly consider him to be a functional child of God.