COEYMANS — Criticism is growing over a video circulating on YouTube featuring Albany County Legislator George Langdon making homophobic comments last weekend at what was billed as a constitutional seminar.
Some officials are calling for Langdon, a Republican, to apologize and resign.
Langdon represents the 37th District, which includes the town of Coeymans, on the Albany County Legislature.
The comments were made in a video shot March 27 at a gathering at Camp Pinnacle in Voorheesville titled “A Return to Liberty Under the Constitution Seminar.”
The first speaker in the video is Selkirk resident William Tryon of the Liberty Bell Alliance. Tryon was arrested Tuesday and charged with three misdemeanors in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Langdon was elected to the Albany County Legislature in 2019.
“This whole gender issue,” Langdon says in the video. “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. 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 did not respond to requests for comment.
State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-46, who represents Coeymans, said Langdon should step down.
“It’s clear that George Langdon is incapable of representing the people of Albany County with any decency. I implore him to apologize to the residents he was elected to represent and I believe he should resign his office immediately,” Hinchey said in a statement. “My heart breaks for our LGBTQIA community, and it is shameful that in 2021, we are somehow still faced with this hateful, archaic and outright disgusting rhetoric.
“It’s remarks like these and events like the one that hosted Mr. Langdon that put on full display just how much more we have to do in the name of equality, truth and acceptance. The people of Albany County deserve better than Legislator Langdon.”
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy called Langdon’s comments “wildly homophobic” and “brazenly hateful rhetoric.” He called for Langdon to apologize to the LGBTQ community.
“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,’” McCoy said. “Albany County — its policies, procedures and laws — reflect a community that embraces the diversity of who we are. 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.”
Ravena Village Trustee Nancy Warner said she was disturbed by Langdon’s comments and called for his resignation.
“An apology will not be accepted as an afterthought — because we all know that is what is going to happen — because we can tell he meant every word, so please don’t even try to apologize, George. You are an embarrassment to yourself and our community and should immediately resign,” Warner said in a statement.
Ravena Mayor Bill Misuraca said in a Facebook statement that Langdon should resign.
“Why, for the LOVE of God, would anyone, let alone an elected representative of the people (all the people!) think this kind of behavior is remotely acceptable? George, no sugar coating it, you gotta go,” Misuraca posted.
Before he was elected to the Albany County Legislature, Langdon served on the Coeymans Town Council.
Town board members released a statement on behalf of the board Wednesday afternoon.
“The Coeymans Town Board members are unfamiliar with the context of Albany County Legislator George Langdon’s comments as well as the seminar or event in which he attended this past weekend,” according to the board’s statement. “However, all of us have many close friends, some lifelong, as well as family members within the LGBTQIA community, and if they or anyone else felt insulted by Legislator Langdon’s remarks, then we would hope he would publicly apologize for his comments and clarify any remarks or opinions he may have shared that were offensive. Albany County Legislator Langdon’s opinions and comments certainly do not reflect the beliefs or opinions of the Coeymans Town Board.”
The slate of Democrats running for town board in November rejected Langdon’s comments and “despicable position,” according to a joint statement released Wednesday evening by town supervisor candidate Cindy Rowzee and town council candidates Sara Pruiksma and Yvonne Shackelton.
“Our LGBTQ neighbors are not imaginary, nor are they strangers; they are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They are our friends, and they deserve to know that we will stand for their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that Coeymans and Albany County offers them warmth and belonging,” according to the statement. “We look forward to the legislator’s prompt and sincere apology and his swift resignation from his position of leadership.”
Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce also called for Langdon’s resignation, characterizing the video comments as “disgusting.”
“In Albany County, we’ve come a very long way in the never-ending efforts towards inclusion and tolerance,” Joyce said in a statement. “Our LGBTQ+ community brings warmth and light to everything we do, and that work will not be diminished by the cold and dark hearted individuals in our society.
“Albany County Legislator George Langdon is unfit to serve. I call on him to apologize and resign. Not for 40 years, but forever.”