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Monday
Oct112010

NY Governor Hopeful Sparks Controversy with Homosexual Remarks

Photo Courtesy - Paladino for the People(NEW YORK) -- New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino touched off a new uproar Sunday, saying that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable.

Appearing before a small gathering of Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, the Tea Party-backed Paladino also boasted that he boycotted New York's gay pride parade.

Apparently trying to draw a distinction from his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Paladino told the Jewish leaders in Brooklyn that he didn't march in "the gay parade this year -- the gay pride parade," while Cuomo did.

"That's not the example we should be showing our children, and certainly not in our schools.  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," he said.

"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," he said. "It isn't."

Paladino vowed that as governor he would veto any bill legalizing gay marriage or civil unions.

The Cuomo campaign issued a statement denouncing the remarks.

"Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality. 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," the Cuomo campaign said.

Paladino's prepared text for the campaign event included this line, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us." Paladino omitted the passage when he spoke to the crowd, but it was widely reported.

Late Sunday night, Paladino issued a statement saying he "did not agree with this passage, nor did I say it." He added, "I unequivocally have no other reservations about homosexuality and I abhor discrimination in any form. I enjoy a close relationship with my nephew who is gay and I certainly consider him to be a functional child of God."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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