A controversial candidate for Mayor has stunned voters in the liberal city where he is seeking election by making provocative statements about gay marriage.

Mr Johnson said that he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, a stance which immediately lost him the support of prominent LGBT community members.

The gaffe caused the candidate to try to backtrack, but the damage was done.

The Johnson in question is not Boris, now in charge of London in spite of some questionable comments about “three men and a dog” getting married.

Kevin Johnson is running for Mayor of Sacramento, the state capital of California, and his “man and a woman” statement during a televised candidates forum was a gaffe worthy of his surname.

Yesterday his campaign team sought to clarify the candidate’s position.

“My religion does not advocate same-sex marriage,” he said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“However, I would never thrust my personal beliefs onto others, as I strongly believe that everyone is born equally and entitled to their own ideas and ideals.

“I fully support and will defend the present laws of California recognising the rights and obligations of same-sex couples in civil unions and support equal benefits such as insurance and leave for same-sex couples.

“The issue of marriage is presently before the California Supreme Court, and I will uphold the law as the court makes its decision.”

Johnson is former NBA star, having played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns.

He describes himself as a landowner and developer, and in a wide-open race he has taken on his outspoken incumbent Heather Fargo and injected excitement into the campaign. He has been criticised and praised for bringing some celebrity to the race.

Like Ken in London, Ms Fargo is seeking a third term in office.

Sacramento’s citizens will go to the polls on June 3rd.