A fired gay reporter at a Minneapolis-St Paul TV station has acknowledged his attempt at a joke was irresponsible.

Mark Saxenmeyer wanted to do a story about a gay Minneapolis couple who attended the White House Easter egg hunt but instead passed it off to a co-worker at KSTP-TV.

While she was writing the story, Mr Saxenmeyer, who’s openly gay, added some things to her script to make her laugh, including a reference to the couple as “Big HOMO dads”.

The line made it into the story, which was posted on the station’s website on 30 March.

Mr Saxenmeyer said it was up for less than five minutes before the line was deleted, but not before a reader complained.

Speaking to the St Paul Pioneer Press, Mr Saxenmeyer said he felt terrible about his mistake and understands why KSTP fired him.

“Bizarre ironic is what it is,” he said. “I’m not sorry for me. I’m a big boy; I’ll get over it. I made a profoundly stupid mistake. There’s just no getting around that. I have apologised profusely. It was stupid, inappropriate, irresponsible. It is beyond comprehensible.”

He added: “When you are gay, you sometimes feel you can say things because they are coming from a place not of disrespect or evil.

“I don’t want KSTP to suffer in any way. I know KSTP knows it did not come from a place of malice. I had nothing but a terrific year and a half there. I’m old enough to understand this was a grievous mistake. I hate to have the other reporter’s name dragged into this. I just feel so terrible. I feel like I’ve kicked myself in my own butt here. I will forever regret this.”