Gay rights groups are calling for the sacking of a New Jersey teacher who wrote on Facebook that homosexuality is “perverted” and “breeds like cancer”.

Viki Knox, who works in Union High School in the Union Township school district, made the comments last week.

According to the Star-Ledger, the self-proclaimed “Jesus freak” is said to have to have called homosexuality “a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer”.

In subsequent messages, Ms Knox added that being gay was “against the nature and character of God” and that the high school was “not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality”.

The 49-year-old special education teacher is understood to have been angry at a school board bulletin about LGBT History Month.

The school district says it is investigating the remarks but has refused to comment further.

However, a Human Rights Campaign petition calling for “immediate and appropriate action” against Ms Knox has gathered 75,000 signatures and Garden State Equality has also called for her to be fired.