Delegate compares gay community to Ku Klux Klan

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Virginia delegate has told a reporter he thinks "the LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan."

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Del. Eric Porterfield made the comments after calling to discuss a story on controversial earlier comments. The Mercer Republican also told the reporter the gay community is a "terrorist group."

Porterfield said he is being persecuted for the remarks he made during a Wednesday committee meeting. He was speaking in support of an amendment that would overrule local ordinances that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. At the meeting, he called LGBT groups "socialist" and "discriminatory bigots" who do not protect gays.

In a news release, the state Democratic Party chairwoman called for Porterfield's resignation.

Porterfield told the paper the controversy will boost his chances of re-election.