Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick uses anti-gay slur to refer to Beto O’Rourke

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke

Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick is under fire after referring to Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke with an antiquated anti-gay slur.

Patrick, a vocal opponent of LGBT+ rights, was speaking on Fox News show The Ingraham Angle on Monday (April 29) when he tore into the Democratic challenger.

Dan Patrick claims Beto O’Rourke is ‘light in the loafers’

The Republican said: “This guy is unbelievable. He’s really out of the race, Laura. The guy has no substance whatsoever… he is so light in the loafters he floats off the ground.”

“Light in the loafters” is an antiquated homophobic slur which was used to refer to gay men.

At the end of the segment, host Laura Ingraham prompted Patrick to clarify the remark.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick hits out at Beto O'Rourke in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick speaks to Fox News host Laura Ingraham

She said: “Now, Dan, when you said ‘light in the loafers,’ you just meant not consequential, correct?

“You didn’t mean any pejorative, but he was not a consequential thinker. People might think something else.”

The Texas Republican replied: “No, no, no! To me, you know, he flaps his arms a lot.

“I meant ‘light in the loafters,’ he’s just a lightweight. He’s, he’s flying up.”

Dan Patrick has anti-LGBT record

Earlier this month, Dan Patrick came under fire for backing a bill that would create an overriding public license for discrimination against LGBT+ people.

The bill, which has been passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Senate on April 2, would bar professional licensing bodies in the state from taking action against individuals who violate professional standards on discrimination, as long as they assert a religious justification for doing so.

Human Rights Campaign’s Texas state director Rebecca Marques said: “Before the session began, Texas’ elected officials promised to focus on key issues important to all Texans and not to revisit the fights of the previous session.

“Instead, it’s legislative deja vu, as Dan Patrick is pushing a discriminatory anti-LGBTQ agenda yet again.”

The Texas lieutenant governor has previously backed anti-transgender bathroom bills and fiercely opposed same-sex marriage.

After a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando in 2017, the politician attracted fury for a tweet that read: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

He later insisted the post was not a response to the shooting, adding: “The verse has nothing to do with God’s judgement on any one person or a specific group of people.”

He added: “We are all sinners, straight or gay, and we all fall short of heaven and eternal life unless we accept Christ as our Savior. He died on the cross for all of us. Let me repeat that. He loves us all and died for all of our sins.”

The official continued: “ISIS believes in the killing of gays. America does not and Christians do not. Let’s focus on the real enemy.”