wes goodman
Republican state Representative Wes Goodman apologised for his behaviour after his resignation Twitter

An Ohio Republican state lawmaker, who preached the importance of conservative family values and opposed same-sex marriage, has resigned after being caught having inappropriate relations with another man in his office.

First-term state Rep. Wes Goodman, who is married, apologised for his behaviour and asked for privacy.

The encounter with the male was said to have been consensual and happened several months ago.

No harassment complaint, sexual or otherwise, has been filed against Goodman and the incident was not said to have involved a Statehouse staffer or other legislative member.

But someone, reportedly not a staffer, who knew of or witnessed the incident informed House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe of the situation on Tuesday (14 November), the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Following the resignation, Republican House Speaker Clifford Rosenberger said that Goodman had engaged in "inappropriate behaviour related to his state office." He gave no further details of what that behaviour involved.

"I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations," Rosenberger said in a statement. "It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution."

Goodman describes himself on his website as a conservative Christian and former congressional campaign staffer to Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan.

He describes his views on family as the following: "Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio's proud history and the key to Ohio's future greatness.

"The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting."

He served as managing director of the Conservative Action Project, leading "the fight for conservative principles like balanced budget, lower taxes, repealing Obamacare, life, and religious liberty," his site adds.

Goodman, of Cardington, said in a statement released Wednesday morning: "We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service."

State Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, the first woman to head Ohio's GOP, issued a statement Wednesday supporting Goodman's decision to step aside.

"I believe Speaker Rosenberger said it best; his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and the House," she said.

Goodman is the second Ohio state lawmaker in a month to resign over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Veteran Ohio Sen. Clifford Hite, a Republican from Findlay, resigned on 16 October after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him.

According to an investigative memo, Hite had inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female legislative staff member for two months and repeatedly propositioned her for sex.