A politician in the US state of Virginia has caused bemusement by claiming that airport security patdowns are “part of the homosexual agenda”.

Eugene Delgaudio, a Republican and an official on the Loudon County Board of Supervisors, sent out an email complaining about the controversial security measures in his position as president of the conservative non-profit Public Advocate organisation.

In it, he attacked the Transport Security Administration (TSA) for having a non-discrimination policy and claimed that gay staff could be “getting pleasure” from patdowns.

He is said to have claimed that this is part of the “wide-scale homosexual agenda”.

Mr Delgaurdio wrote: “It’s the federal employee’s version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights… That means the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”

He confirmed his remarks to WTOP but has not commented further.

Public Advocate, which calls airport security measures “porno scanners” and “groping”, is predominantly concerned with homosexuality.

It says it offers “strong and vocal opposition” against those who support equal rights, hate crime legislation and the funding of the arts.

In April, Mr Delgaurdio provoked similar bemusement with a bizarre fundraising appeal for Public Advocate.

He described a visit to a factory where “long-haired, earring-pierced men” were printing thousands of “pro-homosexual petitions” to send to Congress.

In the letter, which some critics suggested was a work of fantasy, he claimed that he had been spotted at the factory by “radical homosexuals” who surrounded him and warned him that they would not lose.