Orthodox Rabbi Yehuda Levin has withdrawn his support from Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, citing Paladino’s apology to the gay community for his remarks earlier this week that he doesn’t want children “to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn’t.”
Levin said today in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City that he can no longer support Paladino, “until such time as he straightens out.”
Levin had been advising Paladino’s outreach efforts to the Orthodox Jewish community, and had even contributed to Paladino’s controversial speech in Brooklyn last Sunday: “I did not write [the speech],” Mr. Levin told the New York Times. “However, I did have some input into it — and I stand ready to defend the content of it.”
The prepared text of the speech in question, delivered in Williamsburg, also contained the line: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us.” But Paladino didn’t deliver the line, and has since claimed he took it out because he wasn’t comfortable with it.
Paladino apologized yesterday for the remarks, though also reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage:
Yesterday I was handed a script. I redacted some contents that were unacceptable. I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated. I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong.
Full statement here.
Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo told the AP in response that the rabbi and Paladino “agree on many things and disagree on some, too. He’s entitled to his opinion.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Democrat Andrew Cuomo leading Paladino 53.9%-38.1%.