New York (CNN) -- New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino criticized gays Sunday, saying he didn't want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option," compared to heterosexuality.
"It isn't," Paladino said at a stop in Brooklyn, New York.
A prepared version of his remarks obtained by CNN from New York affiliate NY1 said that "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," though Paladino did not wind up delivering that line.
"That's not how (God) created us," the prepared remarks continued, though Paladino did not say those words.
Paladino distributed copies of his prepared remarks to reporters at the event, an address to a group of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.
The candidate's remarks came a day after New York police announced the arrest of an eighth suspect in a series of brutal, anti-gay hate crimes against four men.
The incident last weekend involved three victims being held against their will by as many as nine assailants who beat them in a vacant apartment and sodomized two of them, police said. A fourth victim was beaten and robbed in connection with the attacks.
"Don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way," Paladino said Sunday. "That would be a dastardly lie -- my approach is live and let live."
"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family," he said.
Paladino also slammed his Democratic opponent, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, for marching in New York's gay pride parade in June.
"That's not the example that we should be showing the children and certainly not in our schools," he said.
Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto responded to Paladino's comments Sunday.
"Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality," Vlasto said in a statement. "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."
Paladino's remarks also drew fire from gay rights groups.
"Carl Paladino's comments would matter if they were coming from a serious political figure, however they are not," said Christopher Barron, chairman of the gay conservative group GOProud, in an email to CNN. "They are instead coming from the imploding campaign of a man with the personal baggage of John Edwards and all the electability of Alan Keyes."
But Paladino's campaign manager, Michael Caputo, stood by the gubernatorial candidate's comments on homosexuality.
"Carl Paladino's position on this is exactly equivalent to the Catholic Church," Caputo told CNN. "And if Andrew Cuomo has a problem with the Catholic Church's position on abortion and homosexuality, he needs to take it up with his parish priest."
CNN's Mark Preston contributed to this report.