Former Iowa state Senator Jeff Angelo,
who once backed a gay marriage ban amendment, is launching a new
group for conservatives who support gay marriage.
Angelo's Iowa Republicans for Freedom
will hold its first press conference on Wednesday at 11AM at the Iowa
In 2006, the former senator
co-sponsored an amendment that sought to define marriage as a
heterosexual union in the Iowa Constitution. A successful effort
would have prevented the Iowa Supreme Court from legalizing the
institution three years later.
to the Iowa Independent, Angelo argued that the
conservative principles of limited government and freedom are
consistent with supporting marriage equality.
“You have to start somewhere,”
Angelo told the paper. “Where I'm starting is to say that I
believe it is actually within the principles espoused by
conservatives to support same-sex marriage.”
He added that he believes he'll
receive the most resistance from members of his own party.
“One of the things that we are going
to come up against is that people, conservative Republicans who are
in favor of marriage equality, get intimidated at local meetings,”
Angelo said. “They get told they aren’t really a Republican if
they support it. So they just stop showing up for meetings and they
stop speaking out in favor of equality because they don’t want
their commitment to Republican principles to be questioned. … I’m
not comfortable with that. The intimidation that’s been happening
is a big problem.”
Angelo first spoke up on the issue as
lawmakers earlier this year were debating a measure aimed at
overturning the court's decision by placing a gay marriage ban in the
“This debate centers around the
devaluation of the lives of a select group of people,” Angelo told
lawmakers at a public hearing. “At its worst, we are being asked
to believe that our gay friends are involved in a nefarious agenda.
The outcome of which, supposedly, is the unraveling of society
A large majority (72%) of Republicans
oppose gay marriage, according
to a recent Gallup poll. However, a recent Public Policy Polling
survey found a majority (51%) support
some sort of legal recognition for gay couples (12% marriage, 39%