For a while it seemed almost impossible, as if maybe Carl Paladino's bullheadedness had precluded his capacity for shame or remorse, even if everyone tells him he's wrong. But yesterday, after he'd spent all of Monday unrepentantly defending remarks like "I don't want [children] to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't," Paladino apologized. His statement read:
Yesterday I was handed a script. I redacted some contents that were unacceptable. I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated. I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong.
He then proceeded to lay out how he really feels about the gays.
1) I am a live and let live person.
2) I am 100% against discrimination of any group. I oppose discrimination of any kind in housing, credit, insurance benefits or visitation.
3) I am 100% against hate crimes in any form.
4) I am in support of civil agreements and equal rights for all citizens.
5) My position on marriage is based on my personal views. I have the same position on this issue as President Barrack [sic] Obama. I have previously stated I would support a referendum by New York voters. I have proposed Initiative and Referendum so New Yorkers can decide important issues like this.
6) The portrayal of me as anti-gay is inconsistent with my lifelong beliefs and actions and my prior history as an father, employer and friend to many in the gay and lesbian community.
Even in his apologies, there is a lot to quibble with. Paladino is a "live and let live person" and "against discrimination," but is opposed to gay marriage and "disgusting" gay-pride parades. He implies that he supports civil unions (President Barack Obama's position), but said on Sunday that he would not only veto a gay-marriage bill passed by the state legislature, but even a civil-union bill (at the 6:57 mark in this video), which the gay community doesn't even want anymore.
It seems clear that Paladino still has zero chance of attracting any gay support. Perhaps not even from his token gay family member. Paladino's nephew, 23-year-old Jeff Hannon who, as Paladino has been eager to point out over the past two days, works as a staffer for the campaign hasn't shown up to work this week, and tells the Post that he's "obviously ... very offended" by what his uncle has said.