Slaughter Challenger Facing Criticism for Homophobic Remarks

Called LGBT people 'deviants, sexually disturbed'

Rep. Louis Slaughter's opponent Mark Assini made a series of inflammatory remarks about the LGBT community. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Republican congressional candidate Mark Assini is facing heavy criticism for blog posts he made in the past that included derogatory comments about the LGBT community.

Assini, who is challenging Rep. Louise Slaughter, made the comments between 2005 and 2009 on the website Writers on the Loose.

Among Assini's comments were those agreeing with a reader's opinion that LGBT people were "sexual deviants" as others quoting a pastor who called transgender people "mentally disturbed."

Assini also said former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, should go to prison,where "Old Barney would have plenty of dates along with three squares and cable TV."

Assini has since deleted the posts, and he has said his views on LGBT rights have changed, citing Pope Francis' comments that if a gay person seeks God and has good will, "who am I to judge?"

"It’s not today. It’s not yesterday," Assini said, adding that President Barack Obama's views shifted on same-sex marriage.

"I’d prefer to just delete these because I am not sure where I am going with this. It was a tough transition, he said."

But Democratic Assemblyman Harry Bronson criticized Assini for saying he had changed without doing anything to demonstrate it.

"Sending out words that say you are something other, you are something different, you are something unworthy, these words matter," Bronson said.

Despite the fact Slaughter narrowly beat Assini in 2014, she isn't considered threatened even without Assini's comments. 

The New York 25th Congressional District is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.

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