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Cuomo Seeks Apology From Rabbi Who Says Sandy 'God's Response To NY Gay Marriage'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Here we go again.

Last week Rabbi Noson Leiter, head of the Rockland County-based Orthodox Jewish advocacy group Torah Jews for Decency, said that Superstorm Sandy was God's response to same-sex marriage in New York.

"The Lord will not bring another flood to destroy the entire world, but he could punish particular areas with a flood, and if we look at the same-gender marriage recognition movement that's occurring, that certainly is a message for us to learn," Leiter said Oct. 30 on Crosstalk, which is part of Christian Information Radio, according to the blog "Politics on the Hudson."

Saying that lower Manhattan is "one of the national centers of homosexuality," Leiter added, "We, not just the bad people, but the good people, have to learn that the Lord does watch what we do and if we don't shape up he will deliver divine justice."

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement in response to the rabbi's letter.

"The comments made by Rabbi Noson Leiter that sought to link the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy to our state's embrace of marriage equality are as offensive as they are ignorant. This catastrophic storm claimed the lives of more than forty New Yorkers. This kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in our public discourse, and is particularly distasteful in times of tragedy. Our state is proud to offer equal rights to all our citizens, and we will never tolerate the use of a tragedy like Hurricane Sandy to promote a divisive and bigoted agenda. I call on Rabbi Leiter to apologize immediately for his hurtful comments."

Rabbi Leiter Blames Hurricane Sandy on Gays, Marriage Equality by RWW Blog on YouTube

Meanwhile, on the eve of Election Day, opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland are blaming the destruction of Hurricane Sandy on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's hefty donations in support of Maryland marriage equality.

At a rally against Question 6 on Sunday, Pastor Luke Robinson blamed Superstorm Sandy on the New York City mayor's support for marriage equality.

At the rally, Robinson stated:

"So here was the mayor of New York giving a quarter of a million dollars, coming down to Maryland discussing the matter. While he's here somebody whispers in the ear, you better go back home and protect your stock because God is sending judgment. The thing came through the area. You have to understand the season and the time. It's almost the end of hurricane season, but God sent one of the biggest hurricanes ever.

In the meantime in New York City and New York State and even in New Jersey and even up in the New England area, what happened? God sent a storm that tore the place up — up in Massachusetts and all up in that lot because they have rejected the truth and the knowledge of God. So with all of… your money you still can't win if God says he's on our side and we are on the side that can win. And we must win and we must never — you must go back, you must go back. You must tell your neighbors. You must tell your friends. Brother Peter [Sprigg] has shared with us the consequences of this thing. It will destroy this country as we know it and we've got to work."

"Blaming the storm on Mayor Bloomberg's support for Question 6 is an affront to those who are really suffering up and down the Eastern seaboard right now," said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL and Maryland resident. "While supporters of Question 6 have been spending hours and hours talking with Marylanders about the positive benefits of this ballot initiative, opponents of Question 6 prefer to play a blame game at the expense of their fellow Americans. It's a disgusting tactic, and undecided voters should consider whether to support a campaign rooted in intolerance and supported by known hate groups, or a campaign rooted in love, fairness, and equality."

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