US wrestling champion CM Punk has apologised after telling a Twitter user who was ‘sickened’ by the idea of homosexuality to kill himself.

Wrestler CM Punk, 32, had tweeted his support of marriage equality for gay couples to 870,000 followers, calling North Carolina’s Amendment One, which would enshrine a ban on gay marriages and other forms of domestic partnership and is being voted on today, an “invasion of people’s rights”.

But when a British user told the reigning WWE Champion the “whole idea” of being gay, the wrestler suggested he kill himself, a tweet for which he apologised this morning.

Punk tweeted: “Amendment 1 is ridiculous. It’s an invasion of people’s rights. North Carolina, why do you care if somebody wants to marry who they love?

“Same sex marriage should be legal. The fact that it’s illegal is embarrassing.

“Divorce rate is at least 50% between men and women, so don’t give me the values angle.

“Making same sex marriage illegal is the same as having segregated drinking fountains. Embarrassing. The human race is embarrassing. #evolve”

Punk told a follower who objected to the “whole idea” of gay relationships: “So don’t have one. Mind your own business.”

He lamented: “So many stupid people. Bigots. Talking about what’s ‘natural’.”

He told one user, whose account is now not visible to the public: “You’re an idiot for comparing a hole in a wall or a dog to a human being. Drink bleach. That’s natural (selection).”

When British Twitter user @ezeekay said man was “meant for woman, and even the thought of homo’s make me sick” [sic], Punk responded: “Kill yourself.”

The wrestler later apologised, writing: “I was pretty worked up today. The amendment 1 situation had me all wound up. I stand by my thoughts on gay marriage 100%. How I defended that stance was 100% wrong. I admit it. You can’t stoop to others levels. Sometimes I fight fire with fire and it isn’t ways the best way.

“To @ezeekay: I apologize. I don’t want you to kill yourself. I want you to better yourself. Just as I want to better myself.

“I’ll start by being the better man and once again, apologize for my harsh reaction to your opinion of homosexuals making you “sick” @ezeekay. Sorry y’all. If I let anybody down, I apologize. I’ll make it up to ya and move forward with a better understanding of others feelings. #pma”

Users had send @ezeekay messages of support, saying: “I’m with you, man. We have a right to have an opinion without being told to fucking kill ourselves,” and “Don’t worry mate, I don’t support gay marriage as well. It makes me sick.”

The user himself was re-tweeting media coverage of the exchange in the early hours of this morning.