In response to pressure from right-wing groups, Republican state Sen. John Carona reportedly is backtracking on his unprecedented statements last week in support of pro-equality legislation in Texas.

In an exclusive interview with Instant Tea on Oct. 22, Carona expressed support for three pro-LGBT bills that will be priorities for Equality Texas in the upcoming legislative session. The bills would ban anti-LGBT employment discrimination statewide; offer domestic partner benefits to state university employees; and allow same-sex adoptive parents to have both names on birth certificates in Texas. Carona also told Instant Tea he is “evolving” toward supporting same-sex marriage but “not there yet.”

In response to our report about Carona’s statements, both Texas Values (the Liberty Institute) and the Texas Pastor Council posted items condemning the senator’s support for LGBT equality. And on Friday, Texas Pastor Council Executive Director David Welch reported that Carona had contacted him.

“Senator John Carona responded to our letter of concern by calling me at our office today, and has assured us that he is completely committed to maintaining his record as pro-marriage and pro-family in response to the concerns raised by an article in the Dallas Voice,” Welch wrote. “His comments reported as “evolving” on issues like domestic partner benefits and same sex marriage were not accurately reported in context, according to the Senator in our conversation. He said that the only position accurately reported was regarding the birth certificate issue.”

We plan to contact Carona’s office first thing Monday to seek clarification about his comments to Welch.

In the meantime, because the accuracy of our reporting is being called into question, I thought it best if we went ahead and posted the audio from my interviews with Carona. The audio is in two parts.

The first part is from my conversation with Carona prior to the Metroplex Republicans Dallas meeting where he spoke. In this conversation we covered the three pro-LGBT bills.

The second part is from immediately after the meeting, when I asked Carona about marriage equality. Listen to both parts by clicking on the links below:

PART I: Sen. Carona on employment nondiscrimination, domestic partner benefits and same-sex adoption

PART II: Carona on same-sex marriage