A Mexican congresswoman has come under heavy criticism for saying that gay people should not be allowed to marry because they do not face each other during sex.

Ana María Jiménez Ortiz, a congresswoman for the Mexican political party PAN, made the comments during a forum on whether to legalise equal marriage in the state of Puebla.

She said: “Marriage should only be considered in those relationships in which the members have sex while facing each other.”

“A marriage should only be considered amongst people that can look at each other in the eye while having sexual intercourse,” she continued. “Something that does not happen in homosexual couples.”

The congresswoman also reportedly cited a study from last year which claimed to find that children do better with opposite-sex parents, despite the study being debunked, and having been described as “flawed and misleading”.

The Regnerus study, published in July 2012, was titled “How Different Are The Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”.

The study has already been criticised for failing to receive “ethical and appropriate professional peer review”, and for focussing on children whose gay or bisexual parents had separated, but surveying children whose straight parents had stayed together.

The politician was heavily criticised on Twitter following her comments. Before making her twitter account private, she released a statement.

It read: “I made clear my position on the issues in a respectful manner and with conviction, it is the only way we will come to common ground on these important issues.

“I’m sorry that my participation was taken out of context and doesn’t sum up the explanation that I made and that this has generated a series of attacks towards me on social networks, from people that unfortunately were not there and only have information from one source.”

PAN is one of the three main political parties in Mexico.

In December, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in favour of three couples wishing to marry in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, in a decision which was seen by some as opening the door to eventually having a federal equal marriage law.

Almost 400 same-sex couples married in Mexico within the first six months of the law permitting same-sex marriage coming into effect. The law also allowed gay couples to adopt.