Nevada Assembly Speaker-designate Ira Hansen on Sunday announced he would withdraw from the leadership position after anti-gay remarks surfaced.

Days after winning the Assembly for the first time since 1985, Republicans picked Hansen as their candidate for speaker.

However, last week, Hansen was forced to apologize for sexist, misogynist, homophobic and racist writings after the News Review took a detailed look at his 13-year career as a columnist for the Sparks Tribune.

The Review Journal then printed a letter written last year in which Hansen objects to a legislative attempt to repeal Nevada's ban on gay marriage, in which he claims that being gay is a “sexual behavior” like adultery, prostitution, pedophilia, incest, pederasty, bigamy and bestiality and that “homosexual conduct shortens lives by 15 to 20 years.”

In a statement, Hansen said that he was withdrawing for “the greater good of the state of Nevada” and accused critics of “distorting” his views.

“Ultimately, this whole attack has very little to do with my views. The powers that be are planning a massive, more than one billion dollar, tax increase and I stood in the way as speaker,” he said.