In an interview with the Associated Press, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin reiterated his opposition to marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

In the interview published Friday, Youngkin, a Republican, said that he remains opposed to marriage equality.

“Asked in the same interview whether his faith shapes his view of same-sex marriage, Youngkin responded with a vagueness common in his answers to questions about policy,” the AP reported. “He reiterated that he feels 'called to love everyone.' Pressed on whether that was intended to convey support for same-sex marriage, he responded: 'No,' before saying that gay marriage was 'legally acceptable' in Virginia and that 'I, as governor, will support that.'”

Youngkin is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe to succeed Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, also a Democrat.

McAuliffe, who was Virginia's governor from 2014 to 2018, is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights. Gay couples won the right to marry in Virginia during his tenure. He was the first gubernatorial candidate in 2013 to announce his support for marriage equality.

McAuliffe criticized Youngkin in a tweet: “As governor, I worked my heart out to keep Virginia open and welcoming to all. This type of bigotry and intolerance has NO place in our Commonwealth.”

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, also responded to Youngkin's remarks, saying that they show the stark differences between the two candidates.

“Glenn Youngkin’s opposition to marriage equality is yet another example of how far outside the mainstream and out of touch Youngkin is – not just with a large majority of Virginians, but the majority of Independents and Republicans who support marriage equality as well,” HRC Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement. “His relentless anti-equality messaging as he closes out his campaign is proof that fundamental fairness and equality are at stake in this election.”

“The choice facing Virginians could not be more stark between Terry McAuliffe, a champion for LGBTQ+ equality who will ensure every Virginian is treated equally, lives free from fear, and thrives, and Glenn Youngkin, an extremist whose opposition to marriage equality and threats to allow businesses to discriminate will make the Commonwealth far less welcoming,” Madison added.

A Monmouth University poll released this week shows McAuliffe and Youngkin deadlocked in the governor's race with both candidates at 46 percent support among registered voters.