A Republican lawmaker is facing calls to resign for making “hateful” comments about gay people being sent to an island.
Albany County legislator George Langdon IV made the shocking comments at a Bible camp seminar on constitutional liberty.
Langdon began his speech by dismissing the separation of church and state as “bogus” before launching into a tirade on same-sex marriage and relationships.
“This whole gender issue. OK,” he said. “Everything God does is sustainable. It’s sustainable. It goes on and on and on. It’s perpetual. Sorry.
“When you have homosexual relationships, it’s not perpetual. Give them an island, they’ll be gone after 40 years, OK? Because they can’t — God created us to be this way.
“There’s so much common sense that needs to be applied to our policies, our procedures, the things that we do in our government.”
Langdon, a Republican in his first term on the legislature, was widely condemned for his outdated views after the speech was shared on social media.
Democratic Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce called on the legislator to resign immediately, saying he proved that he is unfit to serve.
“It pains me to even remotely amplify the disgusting comments spewed out by Albany County Legislator George Langdon,” Joyce said in a statement.
“Listening to someone laughingly share an ugly, nightmarish scenario of our loved ones being ‘gone after 40 years’ shakes us all to our core, not only as public servants, but as human beings.
“Albany County Legislator George Langdon is unfit to serve. I call on him to apologise and resign. Not for 40 years, but forever.”
Democratic County Executive Dan McCoy also weighed in, saying Langdon’s comments are “brazenly hateful” and represent “outdated and backward thinking”.
“Every resident, no matter who they love or how they identify, deserves a place in Albany County, not to be relegated to some theoretical ‘island,'” he said in a statement.
“The past four years have shown us that we cannot afford to shrug off hate and bigotry. We have to confront it and call it what it is – hate.”
Republican minority leader Frank Mauriello was evasive on the subject of resignation, saying that each elected official is responsible for their own words.
But he appeared to distance himself from Langdon’s views in a statement on Wednesday. “Whatever your sexual orientation, we are all equal in God’s eyes and equal under the law,” he said.
“Any statements that contradict that belief are unacceptable. Our community is strengthened by mutual respect and understanding and a shared belief that divisive comments will never move us forward.”
Langdon has not addressed questions about his remarks, or the calls for his resignation.
His profile and description of being chief financial officer of his and his wife’s financial firm had since been removed from his business’ website as of Thursday.