Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has reaffirmed his homophobic credentials amid reports that he once courted the gay lobby.
The religious right in the US have been seeking answers from the potential Republican presidential candidate after it was revealed that he once courted the gay community for their support in a 1994 campaign for the US Senate.
A letter, revealed by Massachusetts newspaper Bay Windows, promises to represent the community, “I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party, and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts,” it said.
However, Mr Romney has now returned from a trip to Asia to reassert his position on gay rights.
He told the National Review Magazine: “Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference.”
The revelation has angered conservatives in the US. Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, told the New York Times: “This is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney, he is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”
Other right wing supporters have said it makes him look like a hypocrite.
Mr Romney has been a controversial figure in politics since publicly denouncing the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts last year. When same-sex marriage became in May 2005, Romney invoked a 1913 law prevented town clerks from issuing licenses to couples who do not reside in Massachusetts.