An Orthodox Brooklyn Rabbi who had formed an alliance with New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino says he no longer supports his candidacy.
Why? Because Paladino said he was sorry for anti-gay comments in which he said that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed into thinking being gay is acceptable.”
On Tuesday, after widespread outrage, Paladino apologized for “poorly chosen words” and said, if elected, he would “fight for all gay New Yorkers’ rights.”
The rabbi who helped write the brainwash quip isn’t happy. Yehuda Levin says Paladino “folded like a cheap camera” after criticism.
Rabbi Levin said he was especially upset that Mr. Paladino gave him no notice that he planned to back away from the comments.
“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich,” Rabbi Levin said. “While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”
Mr. Paladino, of course, had not become gay, but had announced that he wanted to clarify that he embraced gay rights and opposed discrimination. In explaining his views, Mr. Paladino and his aides noted that he had a gay nephew who worked for the campaign.
That seemed to bother Rabbi Levin as well. He accused Mr. Paladino of deciding to apologize because “his gay nephew or his family told him so.”
“He discovered now he has a gay nephew?” the rabbi said. “Mazel tov! We’ll make a coming-out party!”