Openly gay Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy was called “chief sodomite” by his opponent Dave Leach at an anti-gay marriage rally.

The rally held Sunday at the Statehouse was sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the group behind measures that repealed gay marriage laws in California and Maine.

NOM is touring 23 cities to support marriage as between “one man, one woman.”

McCoy, who has served four terms in the state Senate, has the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports openly gay elected officials.

“McCoy has been instrumental in promoting equality across Iowa for years,” the group said in its endorsement. “When a ban [on] marriage equality was proposed in 2005, Republicans controlled the state Senate – without Matt's eloquent advocacy, many onlookers believe the ban would have passed.”

According to the Iowa Independent, Leach was at the NOM rally handing out fliers for his campaign against McCoy.

“I am running against Iowa's chief sodomite,” the 64-year-old told the paper.

Leach owns and writes for the Prayer & Action News, a social conservative newsletter, and is behind the website The Partnership Machine. The Village Voice called Leach a “cheerleader for violence” for his fierce opposition to doctors who perform abortions.