The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says the GOP is a “big tent” and those who support same-sex marriage are welcome — but Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker says the party itself is opposed to same-sex marriage and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
“There is a gay marriage party in the state of Iowa and that’s The Iowa Democratic Party,” Spiker says. “The Republican Party embraces one-man/one-woman marriage and embraces the right of the people to vote on the definition of marriage.”
Tyler Olson, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, says Iowans have “moved on” from the fight over same-sex marriage.
“We’re the party of equal protection under the law, job creation, economic development,” Olson says, “issues that I think are important in Iowans’ daily lives.”
Olson, who is 36 years old, suggests the GOP continues to fight “the same old battles.”
“As the Republicans focus on the past, we’re focused on the future,” Olson says.
A group of Iowa Republicans who’ve worked behind the scenes in campaigns held a public event recently to start a conversation within the party, warning the GOP will continue to lose with younger voters who embrace marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Spiker, who is 33, says the GOP platform clearly states opposition to same-sex marriage — but he says that doesn’t mean Republicans who support same-sex marriage should become Democrats.
“We have Republicans who are union members that may not agree with us on our plank on Right to Work,” Spiker says. “But they’re still Republicans.”
Spiker and Iowa Democratic Party chairman are guests on tonight’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television.