tony perkins
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, has attracted controversy for his views on the LGBT community Getty

A Christian campaigner who said natural disasters were God's punishment for an increasingly gay-friendly world has seen his home destroyed by a flood.

Tony Perkins, the president of Christian lobbyist group Family Research Council, saw his house in Louisiana submerged under water during floods that have so far killed 13 people and destroyed more than 40,000 homes.

Describing the deluge as of "near-biblical proportions", he said his family of seven escaped in a canoe when the water rose to 10-feet high.

While last year Perkins said a hurricane heading for Washington DC was a sign of God's wrath for the legalisation of gay marriage, he fell short of blaming the Louisiana floods on the LGBT movement.

He instead told his organisation's radio show that it was an "incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise to take you to the next level in your walk with an almighty and gracious God who does all things well".

He added: "We're gonna look for what God's gonna do in this. I'm asking those questions and I'm going to see."

Perkins, who also attracted controversy when he blamed the 2013 Boston bombings on Congress's support of "sexual liberalism", said he and his family are now forced to live off "God's provisions" with help from his church congregation.

Along with his wife and five children, he faces six months living in a trailer while his house is repaired.

The Red Cross said three days of heavy rainfall in Louisiana, which began on Friday (12 August), had led to the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy. It has so far led to 20,000 people being evacuated.

Posting pictures of his own flooded home on Facebook, Perkins received a torrent of both abuse and messages of goodwill.

One comment read: "Didn't you say God sents (sic) storms to punish gays? Either you were wrong about that or you're still in the closet. Sorry for your loss."

Another added: "From the viewpoint of one transgender atheist (whom I suspect you might wish was drowned beneath the torrent), I am truly, sincerely sorry that your home was destroyed and your family endangered. I am glad that you and yours are safe.

"I do hope you manage to take a few moments to consider your less affluent neighbors who may not be as well-buttressed. Maybe in particular, those who you yourself may have wronged through your actions and words ... May you emerge from this catastrophe not only unscathed, but improved."

The Family Research Council is one of the most influential – and controversial – religious lobbyist groups in the US, with its members campaigning against same-sex marriage, abortion, divorce and stem-cell research.

Under Perkins' leadership, the organisation was classified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, characterised as a "fount of anti-gay propaganda". The allegation was strongly denied by Perkins.

Perkins is not the only Christian leader to have blamed natural disasters on the passing of pro-LGBT legislation.

Texas pastor John Hagee in 2006 described Hurricane Katrina as "God's retribution for a planned gay pride parade" – a remark that led to widespread criticism in the media.