GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a group of fellow Republicans Saturday that gay marriage would burden small business.

“Now all of the a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for,” Steele said. “So how do I pay for that? You just cost me money.”

The Republican head said positioning gay marriage as a pocketbook issue is just an example of how the party can retool itself on social issues. Steele was speaking at the state convention in Georgia.

Steele's position on gay issues has earned him flack from both sides of the political spectrum. In February, he told radio host Mike Gallagher that civil unions for gay and lesbian couples were “crazy.”

“Do you favor civil unions?” Gallagher asked.

“No, no, no. What would we do that for? What are you crazy?” Steele replied.

But just weeks later, he told 'GQ Magazine' that he opposed gay marriage but wasn't going to “beat people upside the head about it,” and agreed that being gay was not a choice.

“I think there's a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can't simply say, oh, like, 'Tomorrow morning, I'm gonna stop being gay.' It's like saying, 'Tomorrow morning I'm going to stop being black.'”