Florida Rep. Allen West says his opposition to open military service supports his analogy that being gay is like liking a particular flavor of ice cream.

The 50-year-old conservative politician told the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun Sentinel that he believes being gay is a choice.

“You cannot compare me and my race to a behavior,” said West, who is African-American. “Sexuality is a behavior. And so yeah, I said I can't change my color. People can change their sexual behavior. And I've seen people do that. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, so I've seen a very different perspective on human behaviors. So that's where I'm coming from on that.”

When asked, “Should gay people change their behavior and not be gay?” West replied: “No. I like chocolate chip ice cream and I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream. So there's no worry about me changing to vanilla. I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do? You want me to change my behavior and ride a scooter? I'm not into that.”

Lois Frankel, who is running to replace West, criticized West's comments: “Allen West's recent comments continue to embarrass South Florida. By claiming that being gay was a choice and then going on to liken it to his choice of ice cream flavor, West has continued the irresponsible pattern of behavior he displayed in last month's sexist attacks on Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz.”

West defended his comments during an interview with South Florida ABC affiliate WPBF 25 News, saying the comments had been taken out of context.

“I think that what I said is that is behavior and so what I talked about is look I prefer or I like chocolate chip ice cream and I'm not going against what someone prefers as their behavior preference in their life. But when you start to understand about the United States military – the United States military serves one mission, that's to fight and win our nation's wars. And if we start to take the military and try to conform it to individual behaviors, no matter what those individual behaviors are, we are going to loose the essence of what the United States military is.”

Previously, West warned that gay marriage would lead to the destruction of society.