An American homeowner who painted his fence with an anti-gay phrase will be allowed to keep the message because it does not break the law.

Chris Trumbull, who lives in Casper, Wyoming, painted the words “Leviticus 20:13, To be gay = death” on his fence.

It is a paraphrasing of the Biblical passage “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Mr Trumbull, whose road is used by students at a local school, told the Casper Star-Tribune: “They’re not my words, they’re the Lord’s. I put it up because society is not looking at the truth.”

City officials say there is nothing they can do about the message because it does not break the law.

City Code Enforcement Supervisor Shelley LeClere said Mr Trumbull was asked to remove it but he declined.

Councilman Keith Goodenough says he didn’t think it was the city’s place to “draw the line.”

He added: “As soon as you start limiting one thing, it inevitably leads to another and another, and I just think you have to rely on social pressure, peer pressure.”

Mr Trumbull said he had not decided to put the message up because Friday was the National Day of Silence, which is a gay rights initiative.

“I’m not doing it to be spiteful. Gay people are bashing themselves,” he said. “My fence seems like the proper setting [to express an opinion].”