New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino attempted Monday to reverse the damage done when he told Jewish Orthodox leaders that he doesn't want children "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality" is acceptable.
"I'm not a homophobic," he told ABC's George Stephanopolous.
"I have no reservations whatsoever about gays, only except for marriage," he said.
The candidate said that he disagreed with his opponent, Andrew Cuomo, who took his children to a gay pride parade.
"I was at one in Toronto one time. We stumbled on it, my wife and I. It wasn't pretty. It was a bunch of very extreme type people in bikini-type outfits grinding at each other and doing these gyrations and I certainly wouldn't let my young children see that," Paladino explained.
When pressed by Stephanopoulos, Paladino said that he wasn't sure if homosexuality was a choice.
"I've had difficulty with that," he said. "I believe that young people should not necessarily be exposed to that."
Appearing later on NBC, the candidate said that he would not discriminate against gays in his business or personal life.
On Sunday, he'd said he didn't think children should be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality" is acceptable in front of a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders.
"That's not how God created us," Paladino said of being gay, "and that's not the example that we should be showing our children."
He added that children who later in life choose to marry people of the opposite sex and raise families would be "much better off and much more successful."
This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast Oct. 11, 2010.