NEW YORK - (AP) - The conservative Republican candidate to begovernor of New York told Orthodox Jewish leaders says he doesn'twant children "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality" isacceptable.
While Carl Paladino, a multimillionaire developer from Buffalo,has stated that he is opposed to gay marriage, his most recentcomments were striking because they came hours after eight peoplewere arraigned in an attack on a gay man and two gay teens in theBronx on Oct. 3.
Paladino, who has received strong support from conservative"tea party" activists, made the comments at a Brooklyn synagoguewhile trying to strike a contrast between himself and hisDemocratic rival, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
It was not the first controversy for Paladino, who apologizedfor forwarding racist and sexist e-mails early on in his campaignto replace Democratic Gov. David Paterson.
Cuomo, a son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, has a sizable leadin the polls in the heavily Democratic state.
Paladino said he chose not to march in this summer's gay prideparade but his opponent did.
"That's not how God created us," Paladino said of being gay,"and that's not the example that we should be showing ourchildren."
He skipped one line from his prepared text in his speech at thesynagogue: "There is nothing to be proud of in being adysfunctional homosexual."
In a statement issued after midnight, Paladino said he did notagree with the passage. He said the remarks were suggested by his"hosts at the synagogue." His campaign manager, Michael Caputo,told The New York Post that the congregation distributed the draftin Paladino's name without clearing it with the campaign. A messagewas left at the synagogue early Monday.
In a TV interview Monday, Paladino said that he does notdiscriminate against gays in his business or personal life, butopposes gay marriage. He also said young children shouldn't beexposed to gay culture, and singled out pride parades.
"They wear these little Speedos and they grind against eachother and it's just a terrible thing," Paladino said Monday onNBC's "Today" show. "Why would you bring your children tothat?"
The candidate said he would have no problem hiring gays in hisadministration. Mentioning his gay nephew, Paladino said thediscrimination he and others face is a "very ugly experience."
At the annual Columbus Day Parade along Fifth Avenue inManhattan today, two gay Democrats, Assemblyman Thomas Duane and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, said just before Monday's parade thatRepublican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino should apologizefor his remarks.
A Cuomo campaign spokesman, Josh Vlasto, said Paladino'scomments demonstrate "a stunning homophobia and a glaringdisregard for basic equality."