The rabbi, Yehuda Levin, who helped write those remarks, said Mr. Paladino “folded like a cheap camera” because of the uproar they had set off. And the rabbi said he could no longer support Mr. Paladino’s candidacy for governor of New York.
“Which part of the speech that you gave in Brooklyn to the Orthodox Jewish community are you apologizing for?” Rabbi Levin asked at a news conference in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue. “Will we see you next year with your daughter at that gay pride march?”
“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich,” Rabbi Levin said. "While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”
Mr. Paladino, of course, had not become gay, but had announced that he wanted to clarify that he embraced gay rights and opposed discrimination. In explaining his views, Mr. Paladino and his aides noted that he had a gay nephew who worked for the campaign.
That seemed to bother Rabbi Levin as well. He accused Mr. Paladino of deciding to apologize because “his gay nephew or his family told him so.”
“He discovered now he has a gay nephew?” the rabbi said. “Mazel tov! We’ll make a coming-out party!”
Rabbi Levin said he chose to hold his news conference at the cathedral because he hoped Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan would take a stand on the controversy involving Mr. Paladino’s remarks.
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