Yesterday, "mad-as-hell" Carl Paladino continued his controversial streak by telling an audience of Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, "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 homosexualtiy is an equally valid and successful option--it isn't." This morning, on Good Morning America, the Republican candidate with the Tea Party following explained, "I think my comments were directed at just the confusion that people have had over this issue. I wanted to clearly distinguish that my feelings about homosexuality were no different than those of the Catholic Church. I’m a Catholic. 7.5 million Catholics in the state of New York. I wanted to make it clear what my position was and I think I clearly defined it." Hey, isn't "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" one of the Ten Commandments?

When GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked him whether he thought people choose being gay, Paladino replied, “I’ve had difficulty with that. My nephew [who works on his campaign] tells me he didn’t have that choice. And I believe it’s a very, very difficult life for a young person. I believe that young people should not necessarily be exposed to that without some really, really mature background first before, so they can learn to deal with it. It is a very difficult thing. And I sensitize with it totally." In a statement released by his campaign last night (full statement below), Paladino said, "I unequivocally have no other reservations about homosexuality and I abhor discrimination in any form. I enjoy a close relationship with my nephew who is gay and I certainly consider him to be a functional child of God."

Paladino also discussed the "dysfunctional homosexual" remark from the speech that was attributed to him, but not spoken to him. He said on GMA,“My first reading of it was really quickly in the car just as we were getting out and I saw that remark and I crossed it out on my sheets. And I got inside and I read my remarks and afterwards somebody in the rabbinical group distributed it, distributed…what had originally been prepared, but it was crossed off and I refused to say it." However, Newsday's Reid Epstein said that the remarks were distributed before his speech.... and The Jewish Week reports, "The remarks read in Borough Park by Paladino, who often speaks without prepared text, were written by Rabbi Yehuda Levin, an ardent opponent of gay rights and abortion and occasional New York political candidate, Rabbi Levin told The Jewish Week."

Here's the press release from Paladino's camp:

In reaction to inaccurate media reports of his comments to Orthodox Jewish leaders today in Brooklyn, New York, Carl Paladino issued the following statement:

"In my speech today to Orthodox Jewish leaders in New York City, I noted my opposition to gay marriage, inspired by my Catholic beliefs. I also oppose discrimination of any form. I did not say this phrase, as was inaccurately attributed to me by some media outlets: "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us."

I do not agree with this passage, nor did I say it. Apparently a few reporters relied upon suggested remarks distributed by my hosts at the synagogue in Williamsburg after my departure, not the actual statement I made. My campaign staff has worked with the inaccurate outlets and most corrected their stories after viewing video of the event.

I unequivocally have no other reservations about homosexuality. I enjoy a close relationship with my nephew who is gay and I certainly consider him to be a functional child of God."