Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday defended the appointment of Melissa DeRosa to the powerful role of secretary to the governor, suggesting questions over her family’s business ties carry a whiff of sexism.

“Melissa DeRosa is the first female secretary to the governor,” Cuomo said. “She’s worked for me, she’s worked for the attorney general. She’s one of the young superstars in the business. Her father is a longtime, well-known lobbyist in Albany. Everybody knows that. So, I don’t see the issue whatsoever.”

Cuomo questioned reporters at an event on Long Island as to whether they would ask about the conflicts of interest for a man who is related to a lobbyist, either through marriage or by parentage.

“You know there’s some men whose wives are lobbyists,” he said. “But I’m sure you are going to ask every man whose wife is a lobbyist or mother is a lobbyist.”

Cuomo added: “I hope you are not asking just a woman about this.”

DeRosa is the daughter of Giorgio DeRosa, a prominent Albany lobbyist and partner at Bolton St. Johns, a top lobbying firm. Her husband is Matt Wing, a former Cuomo administration spokesman who now works at the ride hailing company Uber.

DeRosa, who has served as communications director, chief of staff and strategic advisor to Cuomo, has said she recuses herself from business before state government that involves her family.

Cuomo on Wednesday said that was not uncommon to do in order to avoid conflicts of interest, calling it a “non-issue.”

“People recuse themselves from items all the time,” Cuomo said. “People come from an employer and they have to recuse themselves from that employer.”

The Cuomo administration has staunchly defended DeRosa’s appointment and DeRosa herself has been a fierce advocate in public and behind the scenes for the governor.

Common Cause, a good-government group, said in a statement that DeRosa was qualified for the job, but should make public which issues she is recusing herself from as secretary.