Orthodox Rabbi Pulls Support From Paladino | NBC New York
Orthodox Rabbi Pulls Support From Paladino
Paladino started the controversy by making anti-gay comments to the rabbi's followers
BY Jonathan Eiseman

The Orthodox rabbi who invited Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino to speak in front of his congregation and claims to have written the homophobic speech made by Paladino has pulled his endorsement and severed all ties with the Paladino campaign.

In a speech delivered outside the doors of St. Patrick’s cathedral, self-described “right-wing orthodox leader”  Rabbi Yehuda Levin  blasted the Republican Paladino for dialing back his homophobic comments and “throwing him and his community under the bus.”

“I am suspending all relationships and removing my endorsement from Paladino until he shows some backbone and gives time to religious people,”  Levin said. “Carl Paladino has been forced to pay respect to the militant gays who wrote those apologies, and he folded like a cheap camera.”

The Rabbi, who leads a small congregation in Flatbush, introduced himself to the Paladino campaign three weeks ago by making a call to Michael Caputo, Paladino’s campaign manager, the New York Times reported.

He claims to have written the speech made by Paladino in which Paladino said that he would veto a gay-marriage bill, and also said, “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option -- it isn't.”

Paladino later walked back his remarks, saying in a statement that he was, “handed a script,” and that he was “in support of civil agreements and equal rights for all citizens.”

Levin, in his speech accused Paladino of pandering to “left-wing militant gay agenda”, and blamed the poor economy on “immorality and a devolving culture.” He said that if a gay-marriage bill were passed, heterosexuals would begin to lose their rights and would become pariahs. He also said that he felt sorry for religious people who had nowhere left to turn, and called on the Archbishop Timothy Dolan to weigh in on the situation, and tell religious people who to vote for.

Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said in an e-mail to the AP that the rabbi and Paladino "agree on many things and disagree on some, too. He's entitled to his opinion."