CASPER, Wyo. — A Wyoming lawmaker who was under fire for making controversial statements about women workers says the media twisted his words.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports ( ) that Casper Rep. Gerald Gay earlier this month said that women have lower wages because they are taking too much maternity and sick leave to attend to their children.

At a news conference Wednesday he apologized if his words were misunderstood and that “agenda-based articles” portrayed his words inaccurately.

The lawmaker also said he will sponsor a bill in the Wyoming Legislature that would make it easier for women to sue employers for gender-based wage discrimination.

The Better Wyoming reporter who initially spoke to Gay, Kerry Drake, says he did not twist Gay’s words and that he transcribed them directly.

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune,