Virginia Republican Lieutenant Governor nominee EW Jackson, who has previously said the minds of gay people are “perverted”, and that homosexuality is a “horrible sin” which “destroys families”, was asked about his outspoken views in a live TV debate on Tuesday evening.

Mr Jackson, an evangelical Christian minister and lawyer in Virginia, is running to become the next Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

In a debate with Democratic challenger Ralph Northam, Mr Jackson avoided apologising for his previous outspoken remarks.

“I believe in the power of love, I’ve been teaching it for 30 years,” he said on Tuesday. “I don’t treat anybody with disrespect, and those comments have been taken completely out of context.”

American Bridge then published a video containing a collection of Mr Jackson’s most offensive remarks.

They include: “Homosexuality is a horrible sin: it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroy societies – their minds are perverted, they are frankly very sick people: psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”

“It’s clearly wrong. A male and a female were meant to be together – both biologically and psychologically and by God in my humble opinion, to be together; no two males or females were ever meant to be together.

“I do think that the rabid, radical, activist, homosexual movement is really trying to change our culture and re-define marriage and do a number of things that I just think are not god at all.”

The Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate of Virginia and is first in the line of succession to the Governor; in the event the Governor dies, resigns, or otherwise leaves office.

The election for the post takes place in November.