In explaining his lone vote against a gay pride event, Oklahoma City Councilman Brian Walters likened participants to pedophiles and wife beaters.

Walters said he voted Tuesday against a special event permit to hold a gay pride parade and festival on June 26-27 because he's a Christian.

“The reason I voted no on that is that I'm a born-again Christian and don't believe in the homosexual lifestyle,” Walters, who represents the city's Ward 5, told The Journal Record.

The council's remaining seven representatives voted in favor of the event.

“I don't want my vote to be construed as support, because I really don't support that, the same way that I wouldn't support a group of say pedophiles who wanted to assemble. I would not vote yes on that either, [or] men who beat up their wives. Anything like that,” Walters said Wednesday.

Nathan Thompson, vice president of OKC Pride, Inc., the group behind the city's annual gay pride celebration, called Walters' comments “outrageous.”

“It is outrageous for anyone, let alone an elected official, to compare law-abiding citizens to criminals like pedophiles or wife beaters,” Thompson said. “It is backwards and misrepresents the progressive direction Oklahoma City is headed in, with or without Brian Walters.”

“Bigotry at this level is disgusting and will not be tolerated,” he added.

Speaking Thursday to local NBC affiliate KFOR, Walters said his comments were not meant to be hateful.

“It's not personal. I don't hate these people. It's just moral conviction; I cannot support them,” he said.

Walters added that he votes against the event every year.