GOProud forgives Paladino for the ‘mistake’ of homophobia

After making wildly offensive comments about gay people and the threat that we “brainwash” kids, and a failed attempt to explain it away on the morning shows, Carl Paladino issued an email apology, which I’ve included below. Among his “personal beliefs” he states that he is both “100% against discrimination of any group” and that he doesn’t support marriage equality.

So how does GOProud, the new-ish gay republican group react to these offensive comments, failed explanations, and bizarre apology? By releasing this statement:

Yesterday, Carl Paladino issued an apology for sweeping comments he made about gay and lesbian people over the weekend. In his apology, Mr. Paladino not only admits that he made mistakes in what he said, but he also makes a firm commitment to be a Governor for all New Yorkers, to oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians, and to reach out to leaders in the gay community. People are entitled to make mistakes and are entitled to second chances. GOProud takes Mr. Paladino at his word and accepts his apology.

Somehow, GOProud believes that opposing discrimination and opposing marriage equality are values that can be held simultaneously by one person. Apparently they’re ok being used as punching bags. After all, Paladino is certainly approving of gay culture when he profits off of gay bars.

LGBT New Yorkers deserve better and LGBT republicans should step up and stop supporting organizations that support candidates who hold LGBT people in such contempt based on bizarre and offensive stereotypes.

Paladino’s letter full letter is after the break.

Here it is:

I am Carl Paladino, a father, a husband, a builder and a business owner. I am neither perfect, nor a career politician. I have made mistakes in this campaign – I have made mistakes all my life- as we all have. I am what I am – a simple man who works hard, trusts others, and loves his family and fears for the future of our State.

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. 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. My personal beliefs are:

1) I am a live and let live person.

2) I am 100% against discrimination of any group. I oppose discrimination of any kind in housing, credit, insurance benefits or visitation.

3) I am 100% against hate crimes in any form.

4) I am in support of civil agreements and equal rights for all citizens.

5) My position on marriage is based on my personal views. I have the same position on this issue as President Barrack Obama. I have previously stated I would support a referendum by New York voters. I have proposed Initiative and Referendum so New Yorkers can decide important issues like this.

6) The portrayal of me as anti-gay is inconsistent with my lifelong beliefs and actions and my prior history as an father, employer and friend to many in the gay and lesbian community.

I am concerned with the future for all our citizens, gay, straight, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim and Agnostic. Although I am not perfect I do admit my mistakes. I will reach out to leaders of the gay 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. 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. Please go to my website to learn more detail about the issues including my staunch support for civil rights for all New Yorkers.

Born and raised in Maine, Nick Seaver moved to DC to study political communication in 2003. He began writing extensively on LGBT rights during the first ballot initiative in Maine that overturned marriage equality. He writes about a variety of issues, ranging from marriage to issues facing LGBT youth. Follow him on Twitter at @NDSeaver.

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