Christian conservative Gordon Klingenschmitt, who served one term in the Colorado House of Representatives as a Republican, has criticized a former Sesame Street writer who described Bert and Ernie as a gay couple.

Mark Saltzman told LGBT blog Queerty that he saw the characters as gay when he was writing them in the 1980s, adding that he modeled their traits after his own relationship with his partner, Arnold Glassman.

“That's what I had in my life, a Bert and Ernie relationship,” Saltzman said. “How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not?”

In a tweet, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, said that Bert and Ernie were puppets without a sexual orientation.

(Related: After former writer says Bert and Ernie are gay, Sesame Street says they're puppets.)

During a recent episode of his Pray in Jesus Name program, Klingenschmitt decried the “homosexualization” of Bert and Ernie.

“Mark Saltzman, by projecting his sexuality upon beloved childrens' puppets, he is actually trying to recruit children into his perverse lifestyle so that he can eventually recruit them to become what he is,” Klingenschmitt said. “Homosexuals, because they don’t have their own children, they have to recruit the children of heterosexual couples in order to continue and propagate their own population of available sex partners. They are perverting and recruiting children by making these false allegations and that is a demonic spirit inside of you, Mark Saltzman, who [is] targeting children for your own pleasure.”

Klingenschmitt, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, offered a prayer “against the sin of recruiting and defiling” and asked God to protect children from “the homosexualization of the liberal culture who wants to reach every child possible for their own pleasure.”