After his strong comments against gay people to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community yesterday, Republican candidate Carl Paladino backed down on this morning's TV news. In an interview with ABC he said, "I only have one problem with homosexuality and that's their desire to be married. And beyond that, I don't have a problem whatsoever."
Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo fired back, calling Paladino's comments homophobic.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said Sunday that he takes a "live and let live" approach to gay people -- but he doesn't want kids growing up to think that they are normal or should be emulated in any way.
Paladino spent much of the day talking to ultra-Orthodox Jews in Borough Park and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, emphasizing his socially conservative positions.
In Williamsburg, Paladino said that it is one of the issues that distinguishes him from his Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo.
"I didn't march in the Gay Parade -- Gay Pride Parade -- this year," Paladino said. "My opponent did. And that's not the kind of example we should be showing our children."
Paladino went on to say children need to be taught a lesson about homosexuality.
"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family," he said. "And I don't want them to get brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option."
He said he would veto any legislation favoring same-sex marriages or civil unions.
Cuomo's campaign quickly responded, saying the Buffalo businessman "displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality."
Paladino also told the largely Hasidic Jewish audience that he supports a program to provide tax breaks to people whose children attend private or religious schools. Paladino said he believes there's a way to structure the program so it doesn't violate the separation of church and state and can withstand legal challenges.
THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED AT 9:45AM ON MONDAY.