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 thing.'”

Vander Plaats spearheaded last year's campaign that ousted three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who favored gay marriage.