Paladino apologizes for controversial comment about gays

One day after he defended a controversial remark he made about homosexuals, New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino apologized for the comment.

Paladino said over the weekend in a speech to a group of Orthodox Jews that he does not want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't." On Tuesday evening, he apologized for the comment and said he "could have chosen better words."

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"Yesterday I was handed a script. I redacted some contents that were unacceptable. I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated," Paladino said in a Facebook note. "I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong."

Paladino has found himself in hot water several times on the campaign trail. He got into a scuffle with a reporter after accusing Cuomo of having an extramarital affair during his 13-year marriage to Kerry Kennedy and faced questions about fathering a child out of wedlock.

The fiery candidate, who faces Democrat Andrew Cuomo, on Monday pushed back against criticism over his speech, saying he is not homophobic and his words had been distorted by Cuomo and the media. 

The Buffalo-area businessman reiterated he is not anti-gay and said he would reach out to leaders in the gay and lesbian community "to educate me on how to better represent my support for the rights of all citizens."

"If elected as your governor I will stand and fight for all gay New Yorkers rights," he added. "I ask you for forgiveness on my poorly chosen words and the publication by others not involved with our campaign of unredacted script that did not reflect my oral statement or match my personal feelings."

Most polls show Paladino trailing Cuomo, the state's attorney general, by double-digits.

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