Leader of anti-gay marriage effort dismisses “Iowa Republicans for Freedom”

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June 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Republican who’s leading the effort to ban “same-sex” marriage in Iowa dismisses a new pro-gay marriage group called “Iowa Republicans for Freedom” as out-of-step with Iowans. Jeff Angelo of Ames, and formerly of Creston, supported a ban on gay marriage in Iowa when he was a state senator representing southwest Iowa, but Angelo says he’s changed his thinking on the issue and wants to get his party to change, too. Bob Vander Plaats is the president and C-E-O of The Family Leader, a group that promotes “traditional” marriage between a man and a woman.

“I don’t see Republicans embracing this from Jeff. I don’t see conservatives embracing this from Jeff,” Vander Plaats says. “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.’”

A Gallup poll released this week found 66 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 think gay and lesbian relationships are morally acceptable. Angelo says he’s formed “Iowa Republicans for Freedom” so his party doesn’t continue to lose ground with younger voters. Vander Plaats isn’t interested in Angelo’s math.

“If Jeff wants to be the politician who runs to where the numbers are going to be, that shows us, you know, there are just no core values,” Vander Plaats says. “And we’re looking for people with core values.”

Vander Plaats led the effort last year to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had signed onto the court’s unanimous, 2009 ruling on same-sex marriage. That group’s name was “Iowa for Freedom.” Angelo has named his new, pro-gay marriage group “Iowa Republicans for Freedom.”

(Radio Iowa)