October 11, 2010 | by Kevin Naff
Exposing Tea Party’s down-low homophobes

National Coming Out Day got off to an unfortunate start as Carl Paladino, the Tea Party-backed GOP nominee for governor of New York, made the morning talk show rounds to elaborate on anti-gay remarks he made over the weekend.

Paladino told a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders that he does not want children “to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”

This morning on the Today show, Paladino told Matt Lauer that he would hire openly gay officials for his administration if he wins. But he went on to say that kids shouldn’t be exposed to gay people. On Good Morning America, Paladino mentioned his gay nephew. “My nephew tells me he didn’t have that choice. And I believe it’s a very, very difficult life for a young person.”

It’s a life made more difficult by bigots like Paladino, who parrots old, discredited and offensive stereotypes about the supposed dangers of allowing gay men to spend time with kids. It’s the most disgusting slur directed against gay men and Paladino had a national platform on National Coming Out Day to disseminate it.

Luckily, Paladino is a fringe candidate trailing Andrew Cuomo by more than 20 points in a recent poll. But his views highlight a problem with the Tea Party that hasn’t received much attention: its homophobia. The Tea Party has focused on economic issues, not because its supporters are so concerned about the national debt, but because they know that independent voters are increasingly turned off by anti-gay attacks.

Don’t be fooled by the Tea Party’s lack of focus on social issues. It’s a Trojan horse approach — as soon as one of these crazies is elected on economic issues, the anti-LGBT attacks will commence. From Christine O’Donnell’s advocacy of reparative therapy to Paladino’s sickening slurs, the Tea Party’s candidates are mostly down-low homophobes, hiding their views because a pollster advised them against overt expressions of bigotry. Paladino’s meltdown exposes the first cracks in that veneer. There will be more to come.

Meanwhile, where are Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? If the Republican Party wants to change its image and broaden its appeal, it must stop giving refuge to people like Paladino. Party leaders should condemn these comments and distance themselves from Paladino.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

7 Comments
  • Kids shouldn’t be exposed to gay people, says Paladino, in front of a group of men that mutilate the penises of small boys and then put them in their mouth.

  • What the F- – - are you talking about Eric? …in their mouth?

    I think we should give this man the credit he deserves. He is representing the Redneck, bigotted tea-baggers perfectly – just like the want it.

    Shout it from the roof top people. Tell all your friend in NY and beyond. Let them drink Tea.

    I suspect we will see lots of half naked men grinding or running from the Sucubus Palin, Paladino with his big creepy drug circles around his eyes, and Witches from Delaware (not Rehoboth of course,) and Assylum cases (republicans) running the streets in a few weeks.

    Watch out people – you better keep the kids locked up.

    What a freak this man is.

  • Yes, I so badly want to take moral instruction from an adulterer who is into bestiality porn. Doesn’t the Bible have something to say about specks, beams, and eyes? Oh, that’s right: Right-wingers have a special version of the Bible in which every verse that can’t be applied to homosexuality, abortion, or modern science has been whited out.

  • Paladino apologized but also said “It’s un-natural” in the same appearance with Matt Lauer.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2010/10/13/27271#comment-80822

    I wonder if Matt knows Paladino owns two Gay Bars? Let’s send Matt a note:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10285339

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