The Empire State Pride Agenda is the latest LGBT organization to weigh in on Carl Paladino’s ant-gay statements, calling it “unfathomable” that the Buffalo businessman “could espouse the homophobic position that the lives of gay New Yorkers are not as valid as his.”

“Law abiding, tax-paying LGBT New Yorkers, and parents of LGBT children, should not have to worry that their governor will be siding with those who feel we are less than, that we are second class citizens living less valid lives than our neighbors,” Levi said in a statement that appears in full after the jump.

“Apparently, Carl Paladino is fine with schools teaching that sentiment as well, and believes that to teach otherwise is brainwashing. Fortunately, what Carl Paladino calls brainwashing most New Yorkers call getting along.”

“Carl Paladino seeks to be governor, but by confirming anti-LGBT sentiments, he shows that he is clearly not cut out to be the leader of our state. New York needs a governor who is committed to equal treatment and equal respect for all its citizens, not one who finds a whole segment of the population he would be representing to be invalid and dysfunctional. ”

“The days of elected officials refusing to give LGBT people the dignity and respect we deserve as citizens are long over. We expect and demand better from those who seek to represent and lead our great Empire State.”

Levi, Sen. Tom Duane, (the chamber’s first openly gay and HIV-positive member); NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, (the first lesbian and woman to hold her leadership post); Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, (one of the first gay elected officials to represent Queens) and Marty Rouse of the Human Rights Campaign Fund will hold a pre-Columbus Day press conference to denounce Paladino’s “homophobic comments” at 11 a.m. in Manhattan.

Full statement by ESPA’s Ross Levi:

“In the wake of the hate crimes sweeping New York State, including the sickening abuse and torture experienced by three young men in the Bronx last weekend, and the rash of LGBT youth taking their own lives all across our country, it is unfathomable that Carl Paladino could espouse the homophobic position that the lives of gay New Yorkers are not as valid as his.”

“Law abiding, tax-paying LGBT New Yorkers, and parents of LGBT children, should not have to worry that their governor will be siding with those who feel we are less than, that we are second class citizens living less valid lives than our neighbors. ”

“Apparently, Carl Paladino is fine with schools teaching that sentiment as well, and believes that to teach otherwise is brainwashing. Fortunately, what Carl Paladino calls brainwashing most New Yorkers call getting along.”

“Will every New Yorker who fails to meet Carl Paladino’s personal morality code have to worry about being deemed invalid? Our extraordinary diversity is part of what makes New York great, and we will all need to work together to address the challenges we face in the coming years. ”

“This will be far harder if New Yorkers are divided or distracted by a governor and a government who are making judgments about whether or not some law abiding citizens are leading ‘valid lives.’”

“Carl Paladino seeks to be governor, but by confirming anti-LGBT sentiments, he shows that he is clearly not cut out to be the leader of our state. ”

“New York needs a governor who is committed to equal treatment and equal respect for all its citizens, not one who finds a whole segment of the population he would be representing to be invalid and dysfunctional.”

“The days of elected officials refusing to give LGBT people the dignity and respect we deserve as citizens are long over. We expect and demand better from those who seek to represent and lead our great Empire State.”