The chair of Colorado’s Republican party is facing calls to resign from members of his own group after the state organization sent out an email criticizing Pride month – and later calling for rainbow-colored Pride flags to be burned.

Dave Williams, who is also a representative in Colorado’s legislature, has faced swift backlash from his fellow Republicans in the wake of the controversial email sent Monday.

Much of the criticism aimed at Williams by other Republicans focused on the potential for his remarks to hurt the chances for members of their party to be elected.

In a post to X on Friday, Valdamar Archuleta, a candidate for Colorado’s first district and head of the state’s Log Cabin Republicans, said that Williams “does not have effective communication skills” and should resign.

“Building an effective winning team takes skills and talents not everyone has,” wrote Archuleta, who on Wednesday rejected the state Republican party’s endorsement. “Dave Williams should resign … or be removed.”

Archuleta, who has supported transphobic groups in the past, previously defended Williams, telling 9News that the state party chair was attempting to get a reaction and mimic the persona of former president Donald Trump.

When asked whether Williams should resign, Colorado’s house minority whip, Richard Holtorf, said: “Hell, yeah.” Holtorf added that a petition is being initiated for Williams’s removal.

“He’s incompetent and he should step down,” Holtorf said. “He’s done so many destructive things in Colorado to not promote unity and [done] things that are outside the boundary and the scope of his role and responsibility as the state party chair.”

He added: “Dave Williams should not be preaching to the Colorado electorate. It is not his place and it’s not the state party’s role.”

In an email to the Guardian, Mary Bradfield, a representative who serves as the chair of the Colorado house Republican caucus, called on Williams to resign.

“I think these statements made by chairman Dave Williams are inappropriate,” she wrote. “He should step down.”

Nancy Pallozzi, the chair of the Jefferson county, Colorado, Republicans, told Fox21 News in a statement that several of the party’s county chairs, candidates and other members had called for Williams’s resignation over his latest comments and for sending out emails endorsing Trump, despite the party’s stance on primary neutrality.

The email sent by the Colorado Republican party, with the subject line “God Hates Pride”, accused members of the LGBTQ+ community of being “godless groomers” who were out to “harm children”.

Pride month is an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ people held in June each year. It recognizes the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, where patrons essentially sparked the modern LGBTQ+ protest and celebration movement by resisting police harassment and extortion.

“The month of June has arrived and, once again, the godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy, and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children,” read the state Republican party email, which was signed by Williams.

The email also included a sermon from the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ pastor Mark Driscoll, entitled “God Hates Flags”, a pun alluding to Pride flags and a homophobic slur that rhymes with flag.

A subsequent tweet on Wednesday from the official Colorado Republican account called for Pride flags to be burned. “Burn all the #pride flags this June,” read the tweet.

Williams has been relatively unapologetic despite backlash.

In an email to USA Today on Wednesday, Williams said Colorado Republican party officials “make no apologies” for their comments.

“We make no apologies for saying God hates pride or pride flags as it’s an agenda that harms children and undermines parental authority, and the only backlash we see is coming from radical Democrats, the fake news media, and weak Republicans who bow down at the feet of leftist cancel culture,” Williams said.

Williams did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment on Friday.

The latest remarks from Williams come as the state has politically wrestled against anti-LGBTQ+ groups.

Last year, in a blow to LGBTQ+ rights, the US supreme court ruled that a Colorado civil rights law that mandates businesses and organizations treat same-sex patrons equally was unfair to a Christian web designer based in the state who refused to make wedding websites for same-sex couples.

Furthermore, Williams’s “God Hates Pride” email came just days after police in Carlisle, Massachusetts, launched an investigation into the theft of more than 200 Pride flags as June and the annual LGBTQ+ celebration arrived.