Oklahoma Republican State Senator Joseph Silk has expanded on remarks that gay people “don't have a right to be served in every single store.”

Silk is the sponsor of a bill that seeks to make it easier for businesses and individuals to opt out of serving people on religious grounds. Most believe the bill targets gay men and lesbians, a point which Silk appeared to confirm in comments to The New York Times.

“The LGBT movement is the main thing, the primary thing that's going to be challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions,” he said. “And I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.”

He added: “They don't have a right to be served in every single store. People need to have the ability to refuse service if it violates their religious convictions.”

After his comments went viral, Silk penned a response in which he declared that his bill “has nothing to do with” the LGBT community.

“The intent of the bill is to protect private property rights and religious liberty,” he wrote. “As a legislator, I will always fight to protect people's liberty to live their lives according to their beliefs and convictions.”

Silk went on to describe the gay rights movement as having “zero tolerance” for others.

“People have a right to be homosexual and I will always protect that. However that right does not give them an excuse to trample another person's right to live out their religious beliefs in their place of business.”

“The problem with the current LGBT movement is that they have zero tolerance or consideration of other peoples rights [sic], and yes they are a threat to our freedoms and liberties in the United States and Oklahoma. I am not questioning the rights of the LGBT movement, I believe they have the right to live how they want to live. They, on the other hand, are launching a massive campaign that is attempting to strip other people's individual liberties away if they hold different beliefs...this is complete intolerance,” he wrote.

Silk concluded: “Yes I did say that homosexuals do not have the right to be served in every store, just as I do not believe that I, my family, or anyone else have the right to be served in every private business. The right to provide services should be the decision of the business owners. We need to keep our country free and stop this radical, intolerant, movement.”