LAKEWOOD - Leonard Roberto, an Alden businessman and Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress's 27th district seat held by Democrat Brian Higgins, called homosexuality a practice condemned by God during a Tuesday town hall meeting at the Lakewood American Legion.
Roberto spoke to about 40 people about his candidacy Tuesday, when he said he made comments about sexuality not thinking the media was present.
On Wednesday, however, he said that was "tongue-in-cheek," adding he wants his opinions to be "crystal clear."
Speaking about the Tuesday meeting on Wednesday, Roberto said he wants people to know "what you see is what you get" if they vote for him. What they will get if he is elected in November, he said, is someone opposed to gay marriage.
He said he wants that known in an environment that expects people to be politically correct in an attempt to placate everyone. Instead, he said he opposes gay marriage as a pastor based on his understanding of scripture. He said he is not "a hatemonger" adding God loves homosexuals but not homosexuality; (God) loves murderers, but not murder, Roberto said.
Roberto said he wants people to know his position instead of relying on ambiguities that surround social issues.
"Truth often offends people," he said, adding the truth of his stance is homosexuality is not acceptable as people do not have the right to "corrupt themselves." Roberto has aligned himself with gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. Roberto said a political group he founded, Primary Challenge, has helped with Paladino's petitions.
Roberto seeks to repeal Barack Obama's health care plan, opposes amnesty for illegal aliens and wants to protect America's borders, reports his website.
A debate between Assembly candidates Nancy Bargar and Andrew Goodell set for 7 p.m. today at the Lakewood American Legion will continue attempts to allow residents to become familiar with candidates.