Yesterday New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino made anti-gay remarks in a speech in which he said he didn’t want children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.” Paladino’s divisive remarks come amidst news of suicides by young people who faced anti-gay harassment as well as a horrific hate crime in the Bronx that targeted three gay men.
“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.”
The anti-gay tirade came directly after he warned that “we must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives.” He blasted his opponent Andrew Cuomo for participating in a gay pride parade, and according to news reports his prepared remarks included the sentence: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.”
“It’s disgusting to think that Carl Paladino’s idea of celebrating the eve of National Coming Out Day is to tell young LGBT people that they’re not equally valid,” added Solmonese. “There is nothing to be proud of in giving voice to the kind of divisiveness that so often leads to violence.”