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04/19/2007


Paladino Asks For 'Forgiveness' After Anti-Gay Rant

Paladinofinger

Carl Paladino's campaign finally got around to issuing an apology for the New York gubernatorial hopeful's gay "brainwashing" comment on Sunday.

"I am neither perfect, nor a career politician. I have made mistakes in this campaign," said the Republican in an email sent this afternoon, one day after taking to the television to continue pleading his anti-gay case. "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."

Paladino's last remark concerns a part of the speech, written by an Orthodox rabbi for Paladino, that declared, "[There is] nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual." Paladino's decision to skip that bit garnered him praise from none other than Ann Coulter.


O'Donnell's Anti-Gay Politics Fit In Well At Claremont Institute

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Two subjects, education and sex, have dominated media coverage of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's campaign.

With regard to education, there were allegations that the Republican lied about attending Oxford University and Claremont College on a virtual resume, a resume her campaign dismissed as a fraud. Then, earlier this week, O'Donnell touched on the topic in a campaign commercial, thus producing even more articles about her academic career.

The press has been equally voracious in investigating O'Donnell's bizarre sexual politics, including the idea that homosexuality is an "identity disorder" and that masturbation's sinful.

O'Donnell's educational and sexual politics are not mutually exclusive, however, and certainly converged during the candidate's time as a Lincoln Fellow at the right wing Claremont Institute. The Nation's Kathryn Joice helps explain why, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "O'Donnell's Anti-Gay Politics Fit In Well At Claremont Institute" »


Giuliani Leads Republicans In Paladino Rebuke

Giuliani

While the nation debates Carl Paladino's remarks that gay people "brainwash" children, the Republican Party as whole appears entirely disinterested, and a mere few are willing to admonish the New York gubernatorial hopeful's homophobia. That small minority includes Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who failed in his 2008 presidential bid.

"At a time when the state and nation are facing massive deficits, irresponsible overspending, job-killing taxes and an ongoing war of terrorism against us, all candidates should be focused on solutions to our problems and not the personal lives of our fellow citizens," said Giuliani, who, like Paladino, opposes gay marriage. "[Paladino] should recognize his remarks were highly offensive and he should apologize for them."

Mike Cox, the chair of New York's Republican Party, kept his response comparatively brief, "We condemn any remarks that can be construed as homophobic." GOP candidates Dan Donovan, who's running for attorney general, and comptroller contender Harry Wilson, both issued statements that went a bit further.

"Any statements of this nature are offensive. We should be fostering a dialogue on tolerance. These statements do not achieve that, and I do not agree with them," said Donovan, while Wilson remarked, "I do not condone intolerance of any kind and categorically reject these hurtful statements. Furthermore, I strongly urge every candidate for statewide office to focus solely, as I have, on the problems of our state, particularly our massive and growing fiscal crisis."

Giuliani may not be the most powerful Republican in the land, but he's making a concerted effort to flex his muscle this election season, and has endorsed high profile candidates like Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman and former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich. He's keeping his name out there and, as Maggie Haberman noted, Giuliani was the first bold-faced national Republican to take on Paladino.

Perhaps the GOP's in-office leaders, like Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will be inspired by Giuliani, a man who has never been one of the party's favorite sons. Or, of course, they can let Giuliani steal a golden opportunity to prove their "big tent" principles.


Carl Paladino: Simple Gaffe, Or Tea Party Trend?

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Carl Paladino no doubt wants to put his gay "brainwashing" remark in the past. Unfortunately for him, talking heads couldn't resist dissecting the New York gubernatorial candidate's terrible gaffe, and whether Paladino's comment's are an isolated incident or part of a larger movement.

MSNBC's Ed Schultz chatted about the matter with Chris Barron from conservative group GOProud, who insisted Paladino's opinions are isolated and that he would be "more concerned" if Paladino were a more "legitimate political figure."

"My dog has a better chance of getting elected," said Barron, as if everyone were overreacting to Paladino's comments.

Activist and blogger Michael Rogers then weighed in, and praised Barron for being "consistent" in "throwing Republicans under the bus" when they don't fit his group's needs. He went on to insist that homophobia "runs rampant" within the Republican party.

Rachel Maddow helped illuminate that point by comparing Paladino to other Tea Party candidates, like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell, both of whom, yes, have homophobic politics.

Paladino didn't come out of nowhere, says, Maddow: he's part of the larger culture war, an idea with which former Bill Clinton adviser Richard Socarides would no doubt agree: he told Keith Olbermann that the "Tea Party" is simply social conservatism in fiscally minded clothing. It's up to voters to counter these candidates in the ballot box and spread the word: marriage is a "proxy issue" that's really about gay dignity.

Meanwhile, over at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly argued about Paladino with Ann Coulter, who calls Paladino a "great warrior" for wanting to lower taxes and commended and commended his restraint for not saying homosexuality is a sin, a comment in his prepared remarks. The entire thing, she claims, could help him get votes. O'Reilly disagrees, saying, "Everyone in the world, but you, agrees this ain't gonna help the guy."

All this talk about whether Paladino's an isolated incident or part of a larger trend makes me remember something a New York Tea Party activist said to me about Paladino back in April, when I was working on a story about the state's Tea Party movement and the candidate was testing the waters: "There are clearly not enough Republicans in NY State to elect him or any other member of the GOP as governor... He is going to have to depend on independent and conservative support to get elected, and independent and conservative is what the Tea Party is."

Watch videos from these discussions, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Carl Paladino: Simple Gaffe, Or Tea Party Trend?" »


News: Isaac Katz, Bloomberg Won't Dignify Paladino's Remarks, And GOP Tequila Shots

Obamastreaker Towlesmall Isaac Katz, son of Jonathan Katz, the Washington University professor whose essay, "In Defense of Homophobia" got him booted from the government's oil spill team, has come out of the closet: "When I told my dad I was gay, his immediate response was, "No, you're not." (My mom, by the way, was and is more supportive.) When my insistence finally overrode his denials, he echoed his online essay that I should deny who I am rather than to engage in an act so abhorrent as to love another man... To me, though, it is undeniable that removing him from the team for reasons unrelated to his scientific knowledge, academic credentials or intellectual capacity was a mistake."

Towlesmall The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has named "Ten Races to Watch," which means the candidates are LGBT and could use a little boost.

Towlesmall President Obama and Joe Biden's rally in Philadelphia was quite a scene: first there was a streaker, and then someone threw a book at the President's head. Guess which one was arrested? [Answer: the streaker.]

Towlesmall New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, suddenly infamous for his gay "brainwashing" remark, has some allies. Unfortunately, they're people like anti-gay activist Bryan Fischer, who thinks believes everything Paladino said "is so true and so evident and so obvious that the real controversy here is that there is any controversy at all."

Towlesmall New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg does not approve of Carl Paladino's remarks, saying, "[His speech is] not what America stands for and it's not what New York stands for, and I won't dignify it with anything else." The Mayor was then asked whether he thinks Paladino's fit to serve, to which Bloomberg replied, "I don't think I want to dignify comments like he's made, and I'll leave it at that." That's saying enough...

Towlesmall Will future generation of smart phones be "squishy?"

Chadallen-1Towlesmall  Actor Chad Allen has a message for coming out day: "I have long held the belief that those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have been given an extraordinary gift. We are forced to go inside ourselves and determine, once and for all, that we are good. If we have anything at all to give the world, we are going to find it somewhere along that journey."

Towlesmall Diana Ross also has something to say about "coming out."

Towlesmall Sarah Palin hinted at a White House run this weekend, when she compared herself to another "unelectable" politician, Ronald Reagan. She also invoked the conservative icon in a message for Carly Fiorina: "This is still Reagan Country," she said of California.

Towlesmall Congratulations Joe Jervis for winning the Ali Forney Center Advocate Award.

Towlesmall Authorities describe a fire at a gay bar in Knoxville, Tennessee, as "suspicious."

Towlesmall Speaking of Carly Fiorina, the California Senate candidate spent some of her weekend downing tequila with Latino voters and another Republican candidate, Meg Whitman, who's running for Governor. Yes, beer on blue-collar "Main Street" and tequila with Latinos: the tradition of getting drunk with constituents just gets better and better...

Towlesmall Sjp-1 European Union officials say that Serbia's "failure" to prevent anti-gay riots during pride this weekend may hinder its chances at joining the Union. The United State embassy, meanwhile, praised Serbian authorities for protecting gay rights marchers.

Towlesmall Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, the Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant and alleged lover, had an erotic massage just three days before the incident - yes, with a male masseuse - say witnesses at his trial, where he denied being gay.

Towlesmall Sarah Jessica Parker left the option of a third Sex and The City movie open...

Towlesmall Take a first look at Glee's homage to Rocky Horror, guest starring John Stamos.


New Book Collects 'Gay Brain' Research

Gaybrain With Carl Paladino's gay "brainwashing" scandal bringing up the always controversial question of whether homosexuality's a choice, Harvard neuroscientist Simon LeVay's celebrating the publication of his new book, Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, which sheds more light on that very inquiry.

LeVay achieved fame in the 1990s for publishing a study, often called "the gay brain" report, which revealed that the third Interstitial Nucleus of the Anterior Hypothalamus in heterosexual men was twice as large as the one found in gay men's brains.

His work launched a new wave of biological examinations into human sexuality, and this new book contains the findings for more than 650 such studies.

“When I conducted my initial findings in 1991 and wrote ‘The Sexual Brain’ in 1993, there was no science to really talk about,” remarked LeVay. “The new book details the weight of the evidence, which is a lot stronger now, and bolsters my initial conclusion that homosexuals have a predisposition to being gay.”

Of course all these answers bring up even more questions, including the ultimate conundrum: once science has proven once and for all that homosexuality is a choice, how long before someone starts fighting to take that choice away? Paladino, any comment?


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