Wisconsin candidate for lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch on Thursday apologized for likening gay marriage to marrying a dog, the AP reported.

Kleefisch, the running mate of GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, made her remarks before winning the Republican primary on Sept. 14, but Wisconsin-based gay rights group Fair Wisconsin admonished her comments in a recent email to backers.

Speaking on Christian-based radio WVCY in January, Kleefisch objected to Wisconsin's domestic partnership law signed by Governor Jim Doyle. The gay-inclusive law offers registered couples 43 rights, most of which center around estate planning and hospital visitation rights.

Kleefisch said the state can't afford to “just be handing out money to anyone. This is a slippery slope. In addition to that, at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous.”

In a statement issued Thursday, Kleefisch apologized “for my poor choice of words.”

“My comments were meant to relay my concern with redefining marriage,” she said. “I never intended to sound insensitive, and have the utmost respect for all people.”

Fair Wisconsin had criticized Kleefisch's remarks, saying on its website that she had devalued gay and lesbian relationships, and urged voters to reject the GOP nominee.

“One thing is for sure, the last thing we need is our very own Sarah Palin in Madison,” the group wrote.