A day after denying he said gay people are “sick,” E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, has defended his right to speak out against gay rights.

In an interview Wednesday with CBS affiliate WUSA, Jackson denied ever saying that gay people are “very sick people” and that the military will be punished by God for allowing openly gay troops.

“[C]ategorically not true,” Jackson said.

(Related: E.W. Jackson denies saying gay people are “sick.”)

During an appearance on NewsChannel 8's NewsTalk Thursday morning, Jackson was shown video clips of his remarks.

“I refuse to apologize for being a Bible-believing Christian,” Jackson said. “There are millions of us all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. No matter how much I'm persecuted for it, I will not apologize for it. Believing that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, having certain moral beliefs is not incompatible with treating all people with respect.”

He added: “I understand the difference between my role as a minister and my role as lieutenant governor. I've got to serve gay people, straight people, people who believe in God, people who don't believe in God. I understand the distinction and frankly, it's an insult to suggest that I don't. I love the constitution and the first amendment.”