Never mind the recent rash of suicides among young gay men over the last few weeks, including that of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in Upper Manhattan on September 19th.
Never mind the unfolding horrific details of a homophobic attack perpetrated by members of a Latino gang in the Bronx last week.
The understatement of the year might be Carl Paladino, conservative Tea Party NYS gubernatorial millionaire candidate, showing a little-itty bit of tone deafness by going nuclear on the gays as he sought the Hasidic Jewish vote in Brooklyn today.
First came a Tweet from journalist Azi Paybarah about four hours ago:
In williamsburg speech, @CarlPaladino says: "I don't want [kids] brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equal valid...option" #nygovThen there is the video Azi posted on his YouTube page to back up his Tweet (above).
Apparently Paladino was upset at being snubbed by a number of other Hasidic Jewish leaders earlier today, according to Capital Tonight's Liz Benjamin, which is why he ended bunched up with ultra-homophobic Rabbi Yehuda Levin.
In addition, I've also grabbed this video in which Paladino frames the "homosexual agenda" and says it's something he would oppose as a governor (at the 1:34 mark):
I oppose the homosexual agenda whether they call it marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership.I have to say that I am lukewarm, so far, on leading gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo. But if the choice is this, I'll have no problem pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate.
Tonight, the Cuomo camp pounced. They released the following statement from Josh Vlasto, campaign spokesperson:
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.Methinks Paladino is done, don't you?
- Paladino meets with rabbi who has called gays 'moral terrorists, manages to outdo even him (Good As You)
- Paladino on gay marriage, the prepared speech version (Capital Tonight)
- Paladino: No regret for anti-gay remarks, gay parade 'disgusting' (Capital Tonight)
- Empire State Pride Agenda: Ross D. Levi, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Foundation, released the following statement: “In the wake of the hate crimes sweeping New York State, including the sickening abuse and torture experienced by three young men in the Bronx last weekend, and the rash of LGBT youth taking their own lives all across our country, it is unfathomable that Carl Paladino could espouse the homophobic position that the lives of gay New Yorkers are not as valid as his. Law abiding, tax-paying LGBT New Yorkers, and parents of LGBT children, should not have to worry that their governor will be siding with those who feel we are less than, that we are second class citizens living less valid lives than our neighbors. Apparently, Carl Paladino is fine with schools teaching that sentiment as well, and believes that to teach otherwise is brainwashing. Fortunately, what Carl Paladino calls brainwashing most New Yorkers call getting along.
Will every New Yorker who fails to meet Carl Paladino’s personal morality code have to worry about being deemed invalid? Our extraordinary diversity is part of what makes New York great, and we will all need to work together to address the challenges we face in the coming years. This will be far harder if New Yorkers are divided or distracted by a governor and a government who are making judgments about whether or not some law abiding citizens are leading ‘valid lives.’
Carl Paladino seeks to be governor, but by confirming anti-LGBT sentiments, he shows that he is clearly not cut out to be the leader of our state. New York needs a governor who is committed to equal treatment and equal respect for all its citizens, not one who finds a whole segment of the population he would be representing to be invalid and dysfunctional. The days of elected officials refusing to give LGBT people the dignity and respect we deserve as citizens are long over. We expect and demand better from those who seek to represent and lead our great Empire State.”
- Queens Pride House (excerpt): “Carl Paladino’s outrageous invective against members of the LGBT community demonstrate clearly his homophobic bias and his complete disregard for common decency,” said Pauline Park, president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House. “We call on all responsible elected officials and community leaders in Queens to condemn Paladino’s bigoted and reprehensible statements,” she added.
- Human Rights Campaign: “By his own words, Carl Paladino has made himself the poster boy for the kind of divisive leadership that makes young LGBT people question their self-worth and gives license to those who use violence to advance their hate,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Carl Paladino is either homophobic or stunningly tone deaf to the needs of the community – two qualities New Yorkers don’t want in a Governor.”
- GLAAD: "Paladino's outrageous remarks are an embarrassment to fair-minded New Yorkers," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "This vile language is putting lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people in harm's way. It does nothing but contribute to a climate that encourages incidents like the recent brutal anti-gay attacks in New York City and the anti-gay bullying that led to numerous teen suicides over the last month."
- Log Cabin Republicans: "Carl Paladino's statements are unfortunate and show he lacks an understanding of what it means to be gay. Allow me to offer a counter to his misinformed statement: I think gay men and women -- my neighbors and your neighbors -- would be much better off and much more successful if they were allowed equal rights and the option of getting married and raising a family. I don't want New Yorkers to be brainwashed into thinking that ignorance is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't."
- Paladino warns against homosexual 'brainwashing' (Gay City News)
- Don't be 'brainwashed' into thinking homosexuality is an 'equally valid' lifestyle (Huffington Post)
- Paladino attacks gays in Brooklyn speech (New York Times)
- NY's GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino: Gays are dysfunctional (Pam's House Blend)
- NY gubernatorial candidate criticizes gays (CNN)
- Carl Paladino says being gay is not as 'successful option' (ABC)