Angelo pushes marriage equality in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Angelo pushes marriage equality in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

He's a Republican. That part isn't exactly newsworthy.

But what's interesting is that he is a conservative who supports gay marriage rights.

Former Iowa State Senator Jeff Angelo launched a new group aimed at highlighting conservative support for marriage equality.

His three city tour across the state brought him to Cedar Rapids on Thursday.

He told the crowd of about thirty that Iowa Republicans for Freedom will help give voice to Iowans who believe that conservative values of smaller government should keep government out of the private lives of all Iowans including gays and lesbians.

Sarah Schillig is bi-sexual and wants to get married someday.

"Its 2011, not 1940 you're supposed to fall in love with personality not gender. It's time for a change," said Schillig.

Senator Angelo changed his stance on the issue after a series of conversations with a gay couple.

"I really encourage people to seek out a gay friend or relative and talk to them about it. Even if you come away disagreeing, usually you've got someone in your life who you really love, who is gay, the dialogue softens," said Angelo.

Angelo will still support a Republican candidate for president even if they oppose marriage equality, but he'll bring his group "Iowa Republicans for Freedom" to the Iowa caucuses.

"My party is the party of limited government, my party is the party of personal responsibility, and freedom, and I just think on this issue we've gone out of line," said Angelo.

Not everyone in attendance agreed with the former Senator.

Joe Peterson of Mt. Vernon came to Cedar Rapids to protest Angelo's event.

"My message is don't listen to this man because he is causing confusion! The Republican party is against abortion, against homosexuals, against same sex marriage and that's what I'm against, and it's against family!" said Peterson.

Angelo talked individually with the protestors.

"Whether you agree or disagree this is a dialogue between Iowans. It should take place in love." said Angelo.

Angelo said he's not considering a run for office anytime soon.  He said he's busy with his three teenage children and the advocacy group.  As for his kids, two of them support marriage equality and the other does not.

 

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