A Republican lawmaker from Florida has refused to apologize for chuckling at a suggestion that gay people should be put to death.

During a meeting at Pensacola City Hall last month, Representative Mike Hill had an exchange with a constituent who said that the Bible's 1 Corinthians calls for the death penalty for men who have sex with men.

“It says that in the Old Testament, too,” Hill responded to the man.

“Can you introduce legislation?” another man asked.

The audience chuckled and Hill joined in, according to the AP.

“I wonder how that would go over?” Hill said, then added, “OK. Enough of that stuff.”

Leaders from Hill's own party admonished him for the remarks.

“I am horrified by what I just heard, hate of any kind cannot be tolerated, Mike Hill should immediately apologize,” state Senator Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said in a tweet after the Pensacola News Journal posted audio of the exchange.

Hill has refused to apologize.

“Your social media lynching is despicable,” he responded in a tweet to a story posted by the news website Florida Politics. “I never laughed at a joke about killing gays, and you know it. Your trash media has a history of attacking me.”

“No apology is needed or appropriate,” he said in a separate message.

During a local radio appearance, Hill described coverage of his comments as “fake news.”