Mat Staver, chairman of the Christian conservative Liberty Counsel, has accused Ohio Senator Rob Portman, RNC Chair Reince Priebus and Republican adviser Karl Rove of dividing the GOP over gay marriage.

Portman is the first GOP senator to publicly announce support for marriage equality, Priebus urged tolerance for it, and Rove said he could see a GOP candidate for president in 2016 supporting it.

(Related: Gay marriage foes organize to oust Rob Portman.)

Staver said in a radio appearance that legalizing such unions would “be the same as promoting the death sentence on America.”

“You know it's like going into a building at night and you flip on the lights and all of the sudden the cockroaches start running, and I think this same-sex marriage issue has shown the cockroaches within the Republican Party, the RINOs: Republican In Name Only.”

“So now you have Karl Rove and you have [Reince] Priebus and some others, [Rob] Portman, they're going down a way that ultimately will split the Republican Party. I can tell you what, if the Republican Party were to adopt same-sex marriage, if they were to do that, evangelicals will leave en masse and that will create a third party. No one wants to create a third party, they want to work within the system, they want to make sure that it advances freedom and liberty and the sanctity of life and marriage. But if the Republican Party goes down that road, you can bet that there will be a mass exodus from that party and it will not win elections again for many, many years in the future.” (The audio is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)