A.J. Spiker, the head of the Iowa Republican Party, has described the Democratic Party as the “gay marriage party.”

Spiker made his remarks during an appearance on Iowa Public Television's Iowa Press. Also on the program was Tyler Olson, the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.

“Mr. Spiker, there is a group of Republicans who are meeting with the goal of eventually getting the GOP to accept same-sex marriage or at least not make it a central point of any campaign. What are your thoughts on that effort?” the moderator asked, a reference to the group Iowa Republicans for Freedom.

“Well, the party wants to be welcoming and we're a big tent and we want to have people of a lot of different views that are part of the party,” Spiker answered. “But what they also need to understand is that there is a gay marriage party in the state of Iowa and that is the Iowa Democratic Party. The Republican Party embraces one man, one woman marriage and embraces the right of the people to vote on the definition of marriage.”

When asked if Republicans who favor marriage equality should leave the party, Spiker said no.