A legislative committee in Nebraska considering LGBT anti-discrimination bills heard that employers should be allowed to discriminate against gay people, based on a doctor’s claim that most gay men are promiscuous.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is not prohibited by law in Nebraska, or in the US nationally.

The Nebraska Unicameral Judiciary Committee is currently considering three bills which, if passed, may prohibit discrimination against LGBT people within the state.

Appearing before the committee to criticise the bills, Dr Louis Safranek, a doctor of internal medicine, cited a 1983 study on HIV which reported gay men with the virus had an average of 900 partners by the age of 35.

He claimed “the [HIV] epidemic continues to be fuelled by the promiscuity of gay men”.

He said the anti-discrimination bills should be rejected, as this was a “legitimate basis” for choosing a straight person over a gay person for a job, adding that LGBT people were “inappropriate models for children”.

Dr Safranek added that employers who discriminate against LGBT people should not be criminalised like “pedophiles, polygamists, and prostitutes”.

He said: “I urge the members of the legislature to reject LB 485, which criminalises business owners that see that the differences, such as I have highlighted, are in fact a legitimate basis for discriminating against homosexuals.

“I also urge them not to pass… any other bills which suggest that the gay lifestyle, or any of the LGBT lifestyles, are equivalent to the healthy sexual norm of sex within the context of marriage between monogamous men and women.”

Earlier this week a “concerned father” claimed equal marriage could lead to greater HIV transmissions, in a speech before Minnesota’s House Civil Law Committee.