A Republican lawmaker from New Jersey told high school students that children would be better off in orphanages than with same-sex parents.

The Washington Blade first posted audio of New Jersey Representative Chris Smith's May 29 remarks to students at Colts Neck High School.

When Hannah Valdes, a senior, asked Smith about gay adoption, the lawmaker said that the issue is moot because of the “Supreme Court decision,” a possible reference to the high court's landmark 2015 ruling striking down state bans that excluded gay and lesbian couples from marriage.

The student pressed Smith, asking him why he believes her gay sister shouldn't be allowed to adopt.

“[T]here are many others who would like to adopt who can acquire a child,” Smith responded.

Another student asked what makes these “others” more qualified to adopt than Valdes' sister. To which Smith answered: “Somebody mentioned orphanages before. I mean, orphanages are still a possibility for some kids.”

Valdes told the Blade that Smith, who in 1999 voted in favor of a bill that sought to bar gay couples from adoption, was also asked about his views on gay adoption in an exchange not included in the recording.

“Rep. Smith responded by saying that he does not approve of gay adoption because gay households are not healthy environments for children to grow up in,” Valdes said. “He then stated that 'numerous household studies' show that children that have heterosexual parents have better lives than children that have homosexual parents.”

(Related: Study: Children raised by gay couples healthier, happier than general population.)

Valdes said that when administrators failed to change the subject, they ended the assembly and sent the students back to their classes.