The head of a gay Republican organization accused a member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday of putting them in danger of losing future elections following the committee’s decision to include resolutions against same-sex marriage in the party platform.
“That is a fantastic way of giving Democrats fodder to attack Republicans,” Log Cabin Republicans executive director Gregory Angelo told committee member Robin Armstrong during an exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball. “It’s a great way to make the 2014 election all about this. It’s a great way to make the 2016 election all about this.”
The committee voted unanimously on Friday for resolutions stating that it defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, saying heterosexual couples provided “the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”
“I believe that it is the height of arrogance for us to think that we can change 6,000 years of history,” Armstrong said in response. “I believe that the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. We’re not against people, but we are for one man, one woman marriage.”
Armstrong also told host Chris Matthews that Republicans were “the tolerant party,” because it allowed people who were pro-choice and pro-marriage equality under its tent.
“I know that Mr. Angelo is a Republican, and so he is a Republican, a strong Republican,” echoing an argument made in a letter sent by 13 religious groups to RNC chairman Reince Priebus saying that, while they “deeply resent the insinuation that [they] have treated homosexuals unkindly personally” because of the existence of groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, they would leave the party if it changed course on the issue.
“Are you ever going to be open to the door of changing that position?” Matthews asked Armstrong. “Or is it permanent with your party?”
“I am saying right now that we are not going to compromise that value,” Armstrong replied. “And we do not plan on compromising that value in the future. But what I am saying is, if we agree with someone on 80 percent of issues and we disagree on 20 percent of issues, they are still welcome in our party.”
“Would you be for a party that was 80 percent for your economic views but was against civil rights for African-Americans?” Matthews asked as a follow-up. “That 20 percent? Would that be enough to stop you from joining the party?”
“Absolutely not,” Armstrong answered. “But I do not equate those two issues.”
Matthews also asked Angelo if he would be willing to support a candidate like former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) if he won the party’s presidential nomination.
“It would be extremely difficult for me to support Rick Santorum as a presidential nominee,” Angelo conceded.
“Are you saying that you could support him?” Matthews asked.
“Hey, everybody can evolve,” Angelo answered. “And I’d encourage Rick Santorum to evolve on this issue.”
“So you really believe in evolution,” Matthews quipped in response.
Watch the discussion between Angelo, Armstrong and Matthews, aired Friday, below.