Iowa State Senator Dennis Guth, a Republican, on Wednesday shocked colleagues with an anti-gay rant during the chamber's opening session.

“The media, for the most part, has bamboozled us into thinking that having a relationship outside of the boundaries of monogamous, heterosexual marriage is positive, happy and fulfilling,” Guth said. “Movies, television shows, articles and magazines abound with this theme, giving partial information to [a] vulnerable audience: Our children.”

“Just as there are multiple ways that your smoking hurts me, such as second-hand smoke, so it is with same-sex relationships. There are health risks that my family incurs because of the increase of sexually transmitted infections that this lifestyle invites. For example, there are more and more medical tests required before giving blood or giving birth,” he added.

Democratic Senator Matt McCoy, who is openly gay, condemned Guth's comments, calling them “ignorant.”

“I was frankly just a little bit taken aback by some of the things that I heard today, as I know some of my colleagues were as well,” McCoy said. “Much of what you heard today on the floor of the Senate is warmed over rhetoric that has been invented by the Christian right, extreme groups.”

“What I heard today was ignorant and I know where it came from. I am not gay by choice, but I choose not to be ignorant,” he added, possibly referring to 2010 remarks made by Chuck Hurley, president of the Christian conservative Iowa Family Policy Center.

In calling on lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment which sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union, Hurley stated that the secondhand impact of gay relationships are more destructive than smoking.

(Related: Iowa conservative likens effects of gay marriage to smoking.)