A prominent Springfield, Missouri attorney has apologized for writing a letter about gay rights he now calls “harsh.”

In a letter to the Ozark Fire Department congratulating its recent decision not to extend health benefits to the spouses of gay employees, Dee Wampler said he was tired of LGBT rights advocate PROMO's attempts “to cram homosexuality and lesbians down our throats.”

On Thursday, Wampler apologized, saying in a statement that he's “man enough” to admit when he's wrong.

“My recent words in support of a local fire board decision, expressing that view should have been left unsaid and were harsh and ill-advised,” Wampler wrote. “I did not intend to personally demean, but I am man enough to apologize to all those I have offended and I ask all to accept my apology.”

Wampler's apology also included a statement of opposition to marriage equality.

Captain Andi Mooneyham had been pushing for the benefits for her wife Tara Muck. She was one of the people to receive a letter from Wampler.

The board decided against extending the benefits on the advice of an attorney, who said they do not have the authority.