Bob Vander Plaats, who helms the group
behind the effort to ban gay marriage in Iowa, has dismissed former
Iowa state Senator Jeff Angelo's new group for conservatives who
support gay marriage.
Angelo's Iowa Republicans for Freedom
held its first press conference on Wednesday.
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.
He reversed course earlier this year
during a public hearing debating a new push to amend the Iowa
Constitution and overturn the court's decision.
“This debate centers around the
devaluation of the lives of a select group of people,” Angelo told
lawmakers. “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 itself.”
Vander Plaats, the president of The
Family Leader, called Angelo's change of heart “politics as usual.”
“I don't see Republicans embracing
this from Jeff,” he told Radio Iowa on Thursday. “As a matter of
fact, I think most Republicans and most conservatives are going to
look at this as, 'Oh, this is politics as usual. They'll say one
thing to get our vote. They'll say another thing when they're in
office and then once they leave office, they're going to say another
Vander Plaats spearheaded last year's
campaign that ousted three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who
favored gay marriage.