Lois Fornander is calling for her opponent for the state House of Representatives to withdraw from the election after what she calls "a homophobic attack on Congressman Jared Polis."
Fornander, a Democrat, is set to face Republican Gordon Klingenschmitt in November for the eastern Colorado Springs and El Paso County House District 15 seat.
Klingenschmitt attracted scorn from Democrats and Republicans on Monday after he sent a newsletter critical of a bill Polis has introduced in Congress that would add employment protections to people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He said the bill would punish Christian businesses by forcing them to hire and promote homosexuals.
"Next he'll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America," Klingenschmitt wrote in the newsletter.
The Leader of the House of Representatives, Mark Ferrandino, called on the Republican Party to denounce the statement, which the GOP did asking that Klingenschmitt make a sincere apology.
Klingenschmitt issued a video apology where he said his statement was hyperbole and Democrats have no sense of humor.
"Such a statement is far beyond 'hyperbole,' it is inflammatory, irresponsible and repulsive," said Fornander in an email. "Klingenschmitt's attempt to pass off this reference to an ISIS beheading as an attempt at humor is not only disingenuous, it's perverse."