The Northern Territory politician who admitted to using gay slurs towards a gay staffer says he has no problem with homosexual people and has spoken of a family breakdown after his own mother left for another woman.
NT Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer Dave Tollner was on Thursday revealed to have used the terms "pillow biter" and "shirt lifter" to a party staffer and son of fellow Country Liberals (CLP) member Gary Higgins.
In an interview on Mix1049 on Friday Mr Tollner said he had no issue with homosexual people and that his mother had been living with another woman "for 27 years".
Since the interview, Mr Tollner's gay nephew has told the ABC that his uncle is accepting of his own same-sex relationship.
Earlier, Mr Tollner told Mix1049 that he was dismayed that "some comment I made in a private conversation" had resulted in calls for his sacking.
Asked on radio if he was considering stepping down, Mr Tollner said: "That's a good question, I'd rather not answer that right now. Let's wait and see what the future holds."
When quizzed outside the studio minutes later, Mr Tollner said he was "not intending at this stage" to stand down.
Mr Tollner listed his achievements in government and described as "friggin' nonsense" suggestions he would have been sacked for the remarks under previous CLP leaders, unlike current leader Adam Giles.
"Without blowing my own trumpet, I think I'm doing a pretty damn good job," Mr Tollner said.
In the interview, Mr Tollner said he had apologised to the staffer - Joshua Higgins, an adviser to Community Services Minister Bess Price - who, Mr Tollner said, told him "that's alright... we all know what you're like".
Mr Tollner said the comments were taken out of context and he had "no issue with gay people at all".
"I can't see what I am to publicly apologise for. I've been called 10,000 things worse than this, but you accept them in the good humour in which they're delivered.
"People shouldn't have to watch their Ps and Qs during banter with their mates."
Asked if he supported same-sex marriage, Mr Tollner said his mother had been living with another woman.
"It was hard at first... my dad went through a nervous breakdown," Mr Tollner said to questions put to him by Sky News Darwin bureau chief Daniel Bourchier.
"I was a teenager. It divided our family for a long time."
Pressed on the issue, Mr Tollner said while "fundamentally I am a libertarian and I am not going to get in your way" he believed there were other items higher on the agenda to deal with.
"It is my personal view is that there are far more important things... of greater priority," he said.'My uncle has never offended me', gay nephew says
Mr Tollner's nephew Dale Kelly has told the ABC that his uncle supports him.
"I'm in a same-sex relationship and David [Tollner] and his family have always had open arms for me and my partner," Mr Kelly said.
"We've always been welcome into his home and life."
Mr Kelly said he did not believe his uncle would discriminated against gay people.
"I knew it was media hype from the minute I saw the headline," he said.
"Never in my time knowing David has he offended me or discriminated against same-sex relationships.
"He knows myself and my partner and his mother is in a same-sex relationship, so it's something he's been exposed to and never had an issue with."Support eroding ahead of party meeting
The parliamentary wing of the CLP is scheduled to meet on Monday - with colleagues expected to call for Mr Tollner to step down or be sacked from his position.
After Friday's radio interview, Mr Tollner's colleague and Speaker Of The NT Parliament Kezia Purick posted a scathing review of his performance.
"I am listening to David Tollner on Pete Davies Mix radio and the world that David lives in is clearly not the same as mine," Ms Purick wrote.
"I do not joke about people's sexual preferences, I do not joke about race, colour or creed and I do not joke about domestic violence with either my family of friends."
On Thursday, Ms Purick said Mr Tollner's future was "matter for the party".
In parliament on Thursday, Chief Minister Adam Giles said he had "no tolerance for discrimination... based on sexual preference", but the "matter had been dealt with internally".
However, CLP colleague Robyn Lambley stopped short of personally supporting Mr Tollner and said his future was a matter for the "13 members of the parliamentary wing to resolve".
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie called for Mr Tollner to be sacked.
"In the private or public sector, such repugnant language, bullying and disrespect for a colleague's son would result in the sacking of an employee. An apology does not cut it," Ms Lawrie said.
Independent Gerry Wood said Mr Tollner could be "a bit of a dill (who) opens the mouth before he has engaged the brain".
In a statement issued on Thursday Gary Higgins said he "regretted that the issue has been reported" and he had apologised to Mr Tollner.
"My son and I accepted an apology from Mr Tollner for his comments that he did not intend to cause harm or offence," he said.
"Deputy Chief Minister Tollner is a competent part of the Northern Territory Government, and has my support."
The CLP parliamentary meeting on Monday is expected to be a fiery affair with colleagues expected to call for Mr Tollner to step down or be sacked from his position.
Mr Tollner was elevated to deputy alongside the Chief Minister after a leadership coup ousted the previous team of Robyn Lambley and Terry Mills in March 2013, while Mr Mills was in Japan on a trade mission.Dave Tollner's controversial history
Mr Tollner has had a controversial history in Territory politics.
In May this year he apologised for mimicking Aboriginal politician Alison Anderson.
In 2013 he was expelled from cabinet after a heated disagreement with then-leader Terry Mills, in which Mr Tollner threw a stack of documents at Mr Mills before storming out.
In September 2012 Mr Tollner, who smokes, drinks alcohol and has been charged with drink-driving, was appointed health minister.
In 2006 he described then federal Liberal environment minister Ian Campbell's actions to block crocodile safari hunting in the Northern Territory as those of "an itinerant drunk full of Dutch courage".
In the same year he upset animal liberationists by encouraging the use of golf clubs or cricket bats to kill cane toads.
"If I was a cane toad, I'd much prefer to go out by being belted over the head with a golf club than I would being stuck in a deep freeze," he said at the time.