ALBANY — A day after local leaders called for him to apologize and resign, County Legislator George Langdon issued a statement recognizing “hurtful remarks” he recently made towards homosexuals.
“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community and all others for the hurtful remarks recently made at a conference,” Langdon said in an emailed statement issued this afternoon, Thursday, April 1. “I have never been homophobic nor do I think any individuals should be placed on an island. I deeply regret my foolish off-the-cuff comment that has caused so much pain. I commit to doing a better job of respecting diversity.
Langdon made disparaging comments towards homosexuals at a seminar organized in part by William Tryon at Camp Pinnacle last month. The Christian-based camp was the setting for a “Return to Liberty Under the Constitution” seminar in which Langdon attempted to explain, “everything God does is sustainable.”
“Everything God does is sustainable. It is sustainable. It goes on and on and on. It’s perpetual,” he said. “Sorry, when you have homosexual relationships, it is not perpetual. Give them an island, and they will be gone after 40 years.”
Langdon’s comments were captured in a near four-hour video shared by Liberty Bell Alliance 76, a conservative group Tryon founded. The legislator’s speech came to light shortly after Tryon’s arrest on Tuesday for his alleged involvement with January’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The thrust of Langdon’s 10-minute speech centered around getting people involved in the political process either as a candidate or a volunteer. Towards the end of his speech, he spoke on the “whole gender issue.”
“Listening to someone laughingly share an ugly, nightmarish scenario of our loved ones being ‘gone after 40 years’ shakes us all to our core,” Andrew Joyce shared in statement Wednesday. “not only as public servants, but as human beings.” The chairman of the Albany County Legislature continued, by saying Langdon was unfit to serve, and that he should resign, “not for 40 years, but forever.”
County Executive Dan McCoy called Langdon’s comments “wildly homophobic and hurtful and represent outdated and backward thinking.”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. “Hate and bigotry have no place in Albany County, and I stand with the LGBTQ community. If this is a true reflection of his beliefs, he has no place as a policymaker in county government. Legislator Langdon needs to immediately apologize to the LGBTQ community as well as to all county residents.”
To the subject of Langdon’s resignation, Republican Minority Leader Legislator Frank Mauriello said, “each elected official is responsible for their words and actions and is accountable to the constituents in his/her district.”
“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.”
Other speakers at the event included Renee McIntyre, a candidate for Albany Common Council, Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli, who said he is running for governor in two years, and former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who spoke for more than two hours.
“I hope my years of past public service demonstrate genuine concern for all individuals,” Langdon stated. “I will be taking time to reflect on how to best serve moving forward.”