This Just In: Paladino Is A Huge Asshole, Hates Gay “Brainwashing”

A disclaimer: this is not going to be a balanced, judicious critique of Carl Paladino’s speech in Brooklyn this Sunday as a political standpoint or campaign move. It will mostly just be a list of all the reasons we hate him as exemplified by this speech. We feel this is largely justified. (@nytimes)

To recap, for those who are not following every development in the New York gubernatorial race, here are things that Carl Paladino has said w/r/t The Homosexuals:

1. Children should not be brainwashed to turn into them.

2. Because that’s not how God created us!

3. Also, our children will be “much better off and much more successful” if they get married and raise a family.

4. It would be terrible if they thought that homosexuality was “a valid and successful option.”

5. BECAUSE BEING GAY AND HAVING A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. OBVS.

6. His opponent, Andrew Cuomo, marched in a gay pride parade earlier this year, which makes him a disgusting homo-loving queerface who cannot be allowed to set an example for our children. (Okay, those are not his words verbatim, but I think you get the idea.)

One thing Carl Paladino DID NOT SAY was that “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” It may or may not have been in the text of his speech as written, but he DIDN’T SAY IT OUT LOUD YOU GUYS, so pipe down, okay? Lest you be misled by these statements into assuming something that is not true, Paladino’s campaign wants you to know that “Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic… Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church.” He has a gay man on staff, guys!  That’s almost like having a gay friend, except that you have to pay them to be around you and make a career out of denying them their rights and basic humanity. (@queerty)

ASSHOLE

Cuomo’s campaign has responded to this with:

“Mr. Paladino’s statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality. These comments along with other views he has espoused make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York.”

It’s worth pointing out that polls indicate that 58% of New Yorkers support gay marriage, contradicting the claims of Paladino’s campaign that the “majority of New Yorkers agree with him.”

Our number one feeling on this is This Guy Is An Asshole, and our number two feeling is how sick and tired we are of the campaign tactic where you throw the gays under the bus and then invite everyone else to get on the bus to the polls and then vote for you. We’re tired of that seeming like a feasible enough plan that people keep doing it. We’re amazed and disgusted in particular at the fact that almost immediately after a series of suicides where innocent young people have chosen to kill themselves rather than live as a gay person that anyone, anyone could possibly think this is a choice. In particular I am really over the assertion that you will be “much more successful” by making the life decision to be a heterosexual. Somehow that seems almost saddest of all – the absolute height of not understanding this issue – to bring up how much more successful we could be if we only learned to live in a way that made a little bit of our hearts die every day. Really? This is how we’re doing homophobia now?

I don’t imagine that the people reading this necessarily had Paladino 2010 signs on their lawn before; it’s probable that we’re preaching to the already-incensed choir here. And honestly, I don’t know shit about Cuomo (yet), maybe he sucks too. But we’re all partially responsible for the political discourse of our country in general, and with midterm elections coming up it might be a good time to consider what we want that discourse to look like. I mean, less homophobic, obvs, but maybe also one where no one could get ahead by picking an unpopular demographic and vilifying them to curry favor with another voting block. I know, right? What an idea.

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1114 articles for us.

29 Comments

    • What frightens me is that I escaped my rural conservative hometown to go to college in an area where this guy is running for governor. No matter where you go there are always going to be wackos. Sometimes they run for office, sometimes they support Carl Paladino, and sometimes they harass my friends and I when we want Taco Bell. Damn it.

  1. All of what he said you totally took out of context and I’m thankful for him standing up for his beliefs. He doesn’t hate gays, and I’m thankful for people like him who can stand up and say how they feel.

    • So I do think Paladino hates the gays, but I also agree that it might not have been the point of his statement. I think it has become a political strategy in this election season, in reaction to the outcome of the 2008 presidential race, to use the fears of the struggling middle and lower classes to appeal to the electorate. Rampant Xenophobic and Homophobic opinions are no longer anything to be ashamed of. Once ‘basic’ America lost control over the WHITE house, the remaining opposition strategy had to become a fight to maintain the status quo. Not a fight to move the country in a positive direction. Electing a black man = progressive.

      In reality the gays are an easy target. They have more money because of their inability to create families traditionally. This inability is the result of highly biased laws that have remained in the American spectrum, because it is easy to call homosexuals perverts than to try to contribute to the uphill battle that is Gay Politics. It is also easy to demonize them because they are on the whole doing okay for themselves. Hitler used this thought process to hate on the Jews and now the American Right is using it to rally support from scared, financially unstable,white, “Christians”. He isn’t for gay rights because to appeal to the crazy he cannot by definition be progressive in anyway during this particular moment in American politics. He has to play to will of the fringe.

      The only reason I could admire what he was saying here, strictly because he was brave enough to do it, would be if he hadn’t tiptoed around his beliefs. Be a bigot if you are a bigot! Just stop trying to make people disect whether or not you are a bigot. Paladino shouldn’t get mad that people are judging his beliefs if he is in fact owning them. That would be admirable. You don’t think kids belong at Pride Parades? Fine. You don’t think Homosexuality is going to lead to a productive life? Brilliant. Don’t back peddle, just go with your gut. There will be plenty of mouth breathing, self hating, closet cases to agree with you. But God-willing there wont be enough to actually elect you! If he doesn’t hate the gays, he sure is a sweet talker.

      • I appreciate your comment and it’s definitely true that he’s using a tried-and-true political strategy of demonizing an unpopular social group (as we discuss in the article) but I have to respectfully disagree that we a) “have more money” and b) are “on the whole doing okay for themselves.” Gay people actually make significantly less than straight people annually because we don’t get the same tax breaks and are often discriminated against in the job market if we can find a job/non-homophobic employer at all. For instance, literally everyone who runs this website is broke. And in the light of the ~8 highly publicized suicides this past month and the hundreds more that we’ll never know about, I am not feeling lately like we are in fact doing all that well.

        Paladino sucks though, agree 100%.

        • I agree it is a generalization to say that we are all doing pretty well especially in light of the high volume of youth suicides as a result of anti-homosexual pandering. I do also agree that working to advance the quality of life for homosexual persons (as I feel this website is doing) or at the very least being openly gay in the workplace is disadvantageous. I just think that in terms of an honest struggle the gay community hasn’t been attacked this openly in a pretty long time. Despite not having equality in most aspects of our daily lives, the gay community still exists and in some places thrives. Now the few mainstream attempts at changing things for the better (DADT & Prop 8) is driving this rash of prohibition era hysteria. I live in a Red State, and I don’t think I’ve been this uncomfortable with society’s opinion of me in my entire life. Paladino said he is ok with Gays until they want marriage rights, but it sounds an awful lot like he doesn’t want gay people to exist at all. Flying Spaghetti Monster in the Sky Save New York!

  2. People who turn the queers into their political proverbial whipping boys bear some responsibility for anti-queer violence. It’s impressively assholic of Paladino to be laying it on so thick now that homophobic violence and its effects are all over the news. I’m so sure that he “sensitize[s] with” us.

  3. And then this dude was on Today this morning talking about how “no, no that’s not what I said/meant.” He was all “I didn’t say homosexuality wasn’t a successful option, I just meant for the kids.” Oh okay. I don’t like him.

  4. As far as homosexuals not being “successful”, many studies observe that lesbian women are more educated than their heterosexual counterparts (Kenyon, 1968; Laumann, Gagnon, Michael & Michaels, 1994; Rothblum & Factor, 2001; Rothblum, Balsam & Mickey; 2004), and it is also duly noted that we make more money. The average household income for both gay and lesbian households in the US is higher than for heteros.

    Obviously, these are averages and not all of us live in a state of affluence, but to say that we aren’t successful as individuals just isn’t true.

    • From the 2009 report Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law:

      Using national data from the NSFG for people ages 18-44, we find that 24% of lesbians and bisexual women are poor, compared with only 19% of heterosexual women. At 15%, gay men and bisexual men have poverty rates equal to those of heterosexual men (13%) in the NSFG.

      I don’t think this means that we’re less “educated” or “successful,” for the record. It points out, as Rachel did above, that “vulnerability to employment discrimination, lack of access to marriage, higher rates of being uninsured, less family support, [and] family conflict over coming out” are all factors.

  5. “5. BECAUSE BEING GAY AND HAVING A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. OBVS.”

    This drives me batshit crazy, and it’s such a common assumption among straight people. They are surprised that family is important to me. UGH. What am I, an inhuman, ahistorical pod that grew out of the ground? I can’t have close connections with people? Drives me fucking nuts.

    “We’re amazed and disgusted in particular at the fact that almost immediately after a series of suicides where innocent young people have chosen to kill themselves rather than live as a gay person that anyone, anyone could possibly think this is a choice.”

    A sidetrack, and I don’t know if anyone wants to open this can of worms, but there are gay people who feel being gay is a choice:

    http://www.queerbychoice.com/

    “In particular I am really over the assertion that you will be “much more successful” by making the life decision to be a heterosexual. Somehow that seems almost saddest of all – the absolute height of not understanding this issue – to bring up how much more successful we could be if we only learned to live in a way that made a little bit of our hearts die every day. Really? This is how we’re doing homophobia now?”

    ‘successful’ = feeding at the consumer trough, serving the power structure efficiently, living a life that can be conveniently predicted/managed/modified by those in power

    “But we’re all partially responsible for the political discourse of our country in general, and with midterm elections coming up it might be a good time to consider what we want that discourse to look like.”

    In order to make any meaningful change at all, Americans would have to question absolutely everything about our government and the nature of government in general. Practically nobody is willing to break the rules and do that.

    • My soc teacher said something interesting today.

      The behavior won’t change. Only society’s perspective on behavior will change.

      All of this questioning about whether or not its a choice is kind of irrelevant in my book. I sure as hell didn’t make this choice, but I don’t think that it’s awful that others would want to be queer.

      If we wanna screw around in a homogay way who cares whether or not its biological or if its a choice? It doesn’t hurt anyone. The only people it hurts are those who also choose to look down on it.

      That being said, why the fuck anyone would want to live like this is really beyond me. Its fucking miserable loving someone so much your heart might stop but not being able to marry her/hold her hand in public.

    • I’ve long felt that if even if it was a choice, I’d still choose to be gay. Everyone says that gender and sexual orientation are separate. But, personally I enjoy the androgyny and gender fluidity of my relationship. We don’t have roles based on gender, which is good ’cause I’m kinda genderqueer.

  6. “All of this questioning about whether or not its a choice is kind of irrelevant in my book. I sure as hell didn’t make this choice, but I don’t think that it’s awful that others would want to be queer.

    If we wanna screw around in a homogay way who cares whether or not its biological or if its a choice? It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

    I had a part saying this, but I deleted it because it was too long. Anyhow, yes.

  7. What the hell do people like this think homophobia even is? So many people are like, “I’M NOT HOMOPHOBIC, I JUST HATE GAY PEOPLE.” Yeah, that’s homophobic. Seriously, what in the world do they think qualifies as homophobic?

    In other news, “homogay” and “lesbosaur” are my favorite words coined by Autostraddle.

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