Openly gay Iowa senator Matt McCoy has been the target of a death threat.

Public safety officials in the state confirmed that he received the threatening telephone call yesterday.

Courtney Greene, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Safety said a number of other legislators are currently receiving “troubling” mail and calls.

She added that because the call wasn’t received at Capitol, the matter was referred to Des Moines police.

It is not clear whether the threat was connected to Mr McCoy’s sexuality or his support of gay marriage.

Channel 13 News suggests that a statehouse staffer received a call that threatened physical harm to Senate majority leader Mike Gronstal, who also supported gay marriage in the state.

Iowa became the third US state to legalise gay marriage two weeks ago after Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Last week, Vermont joined these states after votes in the House and Senate.