NEW YORK (AP) — New York Repubysfulican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has told Orthodox Jewish leaders that there's "nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual."
Paladino made the comments while speaking with a group of conservatives at a synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in New York City.
The Tea Party-supported candidate has said he is opposed to gay marriage. But his Sunday comments came as eight suspects were arraigned in an Oct. 3 attack on a gay man and two gay teens in the Bronx.
Asked whether his comments were appropriate given the attack, Paladino said he doesn't want to "hurt homosexual people in any way."
A spokesman for Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo said Paladino's comments demonstrated "a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality."
Update: Paladino denies saying anything about "dysfunctional" homosexuals telling NBC News:
Paladino's campaign had said that several media outlets initially reported that the gubernatorial hopeful had said: "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual."
He said he had read the written remarks before speaking publicly, but "crossed out that remark."
"That is not me, period," he said in the interview.