There have been calls to fire a New Jersey teacher who wrote on Facebook and Twitter that gays and lesbians are “unnatural” and “immoral”, likening being gay to cancer.

“Homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation… I know sin and it breeds like cancer!” Viki Knox, from Union High School, said on Facebook.

She added: “Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviours before the rest of us? I/we do not have to accept anything, anyone, any behaviour or any choices! I do not have to tolerate anything others wish to do.”

In September, Viki Knox also voiced her views on the repeal of the US military’s ban on gay and lesbian personnel, saying that God would not be pleased that, as a result, “the end is near”.

On Friday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) urged New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf to open an investigation into Knox’s public anti-LGBT outbursts.

“We respect Ms. Knox’s right to hold her own personal views – even when we vehemently disagree. However, to disseminate such vitriol in an angry and public fashion crosses the line,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

“Ms. Knox’s actions have damaged her credibility with LGBT students who now will no longer feel comfortable turning to her if they themselves are bullied or face harassment in school or their community. Furthermore, her actions send a message to other students that it’s acceptable to lash out against LGBT students and those who support them.

“Regardless of her personal views, Ms. Knox’s first and foremost responsibility as an educator is to look out for the best interests of her students – whether it’s their educational development, their ability to feel welcome and respected in their school environment, or their safety. Her remarks make it clear she can’t perform that task,” said Solmonese.

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