PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The issue of same-sex marriage has entered into the Peekskill city elections.
The Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee ruled against the Peekskill Democrats over an invitation to a fundraiser sent out by Councilwoman Marybeth McGowan, saying Frank Catalina, Republican candidate for mayor, had indicated Catalina would not perform same-sex marriages if elected mayor. Catalina is challenging incumbent Mary Foster.
The committee said it found the statement false and misleading and said no evidence was presented that Catalina indicated he would not perform same sex marriages.
"Even after it was clear that the statement was false, it has not, to date, been retracted, as it should be," the committee wrote.
Catalina said he was disgusted by McGowan's allegations and the fact that he would have to be asked if he would perform same-sex marriages offended him.
"That's like asking me if I'd marry two black people or two Puerto Ricans," Catalina said. "She's basically saying I'm homophobic."
Catalina said he fully intends on performing same-sex marriages if he is elected mayor.
Catalina and Larry Gomez, Catalina's campaign manager, said they want an apology from McGowan.
"The campaign is not about that," Gomez said. "It's about running the city. We should be concentrating on the deficit spending they have done, not on national issues."
Marina Ciotti, a spokeswoman for the Peekskill Democrats, did not address the Fair Campaign rulings, choosing to take a swipe at Catalina.
"Mr. Catalina is just wrong for Peekskill," Ciotti said. "The city has steadily progressed under the careful watch of the Foster administration."
Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee has no power to compel anyone to stop doing what it has found to be unfair. If the committee acts on a complaint, it will release its findings to inform the public.