"Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality. These comments along with other views he has espoused make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York," the Cuomo campaign said.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate said that people were wrongly criticizing him for a comment he never made.
Paladino's prepared text for the campaign event included this line, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us." Paladino omitted the passage when he spoke to the crowd, but it was widely reported.
"It was crossed off and I refused to say it because it's not true," Paladino said of the excised comment. "It's not the way I feel."
This is the latest in a series of controversies to embroil Paladino, a 64-year-old Buffalo millionaire -- and admittedly unconventional candidate -- making his first try for elected office with a campaign cry of "I'm mad as hell."
Paladino won the Republican nomination despite revelations that he has forwarded racist and pornographic e-mails to friends.
And there were denunciations when he referred to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an Orthodox Jew, as "a person who would fit the bill of an anti-Christ or a Hitler."
He later said he was not a bigot.
"I don't have an anti-Semitic bone in my body," he said.
More recently, Paladino has suggested -- without offering proof -- that Cuomo had cheated on his wife when he was married.
Paladino later said reporters should look into Cuomo's love life with the vigor they have looked into his personal affairs. Cuomo's "prowess is legendary," Paladino said.
Paladino's remarks about homosexuality came on a day that eight alleged gang members were arraigned in a vicious series of attacks on a gay man and two gay teens in the Bronx on Oct. 3 and on the eve of National Coming Out Day.
Paladino vowed that as governor he would veto any bill legalizing gay marriage or civil unions.