The Idaho Constitution Party has ditched its openly gay gubernatorial candidate over his support of marriage equality.

Steve Pankey lost the party's endorsement after he publicly called on Idaho officials to stop defending in court the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union, Boise Weekly reported.

Though gay, Pankey, a 63-year-old born again Christian, has said that he has been celibate since he accepted Christ.

Floyd Whitley, the party's chair, criticized Pankey's endorsement of marriage equality, saying that the Constitution Party's platform has “been clear as to its principled opposition to homosexual perversion.”

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Constitution Party asserts that the United States is a Christian nation founded on the principles set forth in the Bible. Its critics have described it as a theocratic party.

During its August 1-2 convention, Whitley led a successful effort to rescind the state party's support of Pankey.

“His advocacy of homosexual marriage goes against everything the Constitution Party stands for,” Whitley told the Spokesman-Review.

Though stripped of the party's endorsement, Pankey remains a gubernatorial candidate and will appear on the November ballot as a Constitution Party candidate. The Idaho Secretary of State's Office explained this was because there is no policy in place for a party's rejection of a candidate.