South Dakota state Sen. Phil Jensen
South Dakota state Sen. Phil Jensen

A US Senator has said that businesses owners who support the Ku Klux Klan should have the right to refuse service to black people and homosexuals, and criticised gay people for wanting a "standing ovation" from society.

South Dakota state senator Phil Jensen (R) made the controversial claims after tabling a bill which would legalise discrimination against LGBT people.

Although the bill was defeated five to two in South Dakota's state judiciary, Jensen was moved to defend his motion via one of the state's biggest media outlets.

"As a follower of Jesus Christ, I'm commanded to love, to love everyone. That doesn't mean I must condone the lifestyle choices that someone chooses," Jensen explained to South Dakota Public Radio.

"The GLBT movement doesn't just want societies approval. They want their lifestyle choices applauded; they want standing ovations."

In an interview with Rapid City Journal , Jensen also said that businees owners should be entitled to discriminate against black people too. 

"If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronise them."

In 2011, Jensen supported a bill to amend the state's definition of justifiable homicide to permit the killing of doctors who perform abortions.

Jensen was also in favour of a bill proposed by South Dakota state senator Mark Kirkeby, which sought to establish mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.

Gay marriage in the United States

Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states within the US, including California, New York, New Mexico and Washington.

However Obama strongly believes that marriage was possible only between a man and a woman.

"What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman," he said in 2004, as reported by CNN.

However, his views on same-sex unions changed and in 2012 he told the New York Times: "At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally it is important to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married".