First-term Republican George Langdon is resigning from the Albany County Legislature after making homophobic comments late last month.
Bowing to mounting pressure, Langdon, of the 37th District, announced he would resign in a statement Monday. Langdon gave a speech on March 27th at an event billed as a "Return to Liberty under the Constitution," held at a bible camp.
"Sorry! When you have homosexual relationships, it's not perpetual. Give them an island, they'll be gone after 40 years, OK?"
Albany County Legislative Chair, Democrat Andrew Joyce, was incredulous.
“From the moment I heard these comments, I knew Mr. Langdon was no longer fit to serve in the Albany County Legislature. Regardless of whether or not you are a Democrat or Republican, you are fully accountable to everybody in your district, ward, whatever you want to call it. The people who elected you, whether they voted for you or not, you know, they look to you for leadership and to be represented in the legislative body. And we talk about political gaffes and mistakes and being misunderstood. There was no misunderstanding Mr. Langdon’s comments.”
14th District legislator Alison McLean Lane is also a Democrat.
“There were so many unfortunate issues with the seminar my now former colleague Mr. Langdon participated in. I watched approximately 40 minutes of it, and I can assure you his words were not taken out of context, nor were they misconstrued. At the county level we deliver social services, health care and mental health services. We provide the homeless shelter, and most assuredly a portion of the population we provide these services to are in the LGBTQ+ community. When an elected official who is paid with public money essentially says at a public event, that these people are not a part of the natural order, is simply unacceptable.”
Langdon, of Selkirk, did not return a call for comment. In the statement Monday, the former Coeymans Town Board member characterized his words as “rash and thoughtless,” adding he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Legislature Minority Leader Frank Mauriello supports Langdon’s decision to resign. The Republican says Langdon's comments were unacceptable, inappropriate, and very disappointing.
"His words in no way reflect the view of our conference or the legislature. While he did apologize, his decision to resign is best for everyone. I hope he's learned from this. I hope it makes him a better person, and I wish him well in his future endeavors."
Joyce says a while a legislator will be appointed to fill the open seat for the rest of the year, he worries about the lasting impact of Langdon’s words.
"Where do we go from here? How do we regain the trust and the confidence of those that we may have lost, you know, given these comments that were made. Because it's not just Mr. Langdon, it is a reflection on all of us. I think we all need to take ownership of it."
Officials say the vacancy will be filled by an appointment voted on by a majority of the Legislature. The appointee, made by recommendations of the local political parties, will serve until January 1st following the next general election, at which time the vacancy will be filled for the unexpired term.