A state Senator in Colorado has admitted he has caused insult by comparing gay and lesbian people to murderers and adulterers.

However Scott Renfroe said that he believes homosexuality to be “a violation of this natural creative order and is an offence to God the creator who created men and women, male and female for procreation.”

Senator Renfroe, a Republican, was speaking during a debate earlier this week on new legislation that would grant benefits for the partners of gay and lesbian state employees.

“I’m not saying this is the only sin that’s out there,” he said.

“We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery.

“And we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

In an interview with The Greeley Tribune published yesterday he said:

“I apologise if my use of words did upset people, I guess.

“I probably could have been more eloquent.”

Senator Renfroe is opposed to new legislation, Senate Bill 88, that will allow state employees to apply for health insurance for their domestic partners.

It defines the term “domestic partner” for the purpose of qualifying as the dependent of a state employee.

The cost of the new bill to the state is estimated to be just $116,000 (£79,000) a year. It was approved on Monday but must pass another vote before it can be sent to the House.

The bill’s sponsor Jennifer Veiga told the Senate:

“This is not about marriage. This is about health care.

“If today is not the right time, then you’ve got to tell me when, because equality is equality is equality regardless of when we do it.”