Carl Paladino, the GOP nominee for governor of New York, said in prepared remarks that “perverts” were targeting children and trying to destroy their lives. For this reason, he suggested, as he flashed a snide smile to a group of Orthodox Jews, he did not march in the annual gay pride parade.
Here is the video:
Here is a transcript:
We must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives. I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade — this year. My opponent did. And that’s not the example that we should be showing our children, and certainly not in our schools.
And don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie. My approach is ‘live and let live.’ I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family. And I don’t want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option – it isn’t.
I have some news for Mr. Paladino. Being gay is not an “equally valid and successful option” for a heterosexual child. But for a gay kid, being gay is the option. Whether it is “successful” depends a lot on the love and support shown to that child as she grows up. It depends on whether the people whose words she hears in public media, and yes in schools, tell her that nobody could possibly feel the way she does unless she had been “brainwashed.” A heartbreaking number of gay youths conclude, at a rate several times that of their peers, that everyone would be better off without them.
Lots of gay and straight people would be “more successful getting married and raising a family.” I know Mr. Paladino opposes same-sex marriage, since he has pledged to veto any SSM bill that passes the state legislature. So when Mr. Paladino says that children would be better off getting married and raising a family, is he saying that gay people should marry opposite-sex spouses and bring kids into those marriages?
Of course he is not suggesting such a thoughtless thing. Instead, his message was thoughtless in a different way: I doubt he gives any thought at all to what kind of future gay kids will have. They do not register with him, except perhaps as incipient agents of destruction. It is past time to stop pandering to Mr. Paladino by pretending that he represents any deep moral tradition, rather than a deeply immoral impulse to exploit hoary and discredited fears of people he knows and cares nothing about.