Bishop Thomas Tobin, the Roman Catholic leader of Rhode Island, said Tuesday night he recently switched his political affiliation to Republican after 44 years of being a Democrat.


Speaking at a Rhody Young Republicans event in Providence, Tobin explained that he could no longer consider himself a Democrat because of the party's support for marriage equality and reproductive rights.

"The a-ha moment for me was the 2012 Democratic National Convention. It was just awful," Tobin said, according to WPRI.

"I just said I can't be associated structurally with that group, in terms of abortion and NARAL [Pro-Choice America] and Planned Parenthood and [the] same-sex marriage agenda and cultural destruction I saw going on," he added. "I just couldn't do it anymore."

Tobin was a vocal opponent of Rhode Island's successful campaign to legalize same-sex marriage. He told lawmakers allowing same-sex couples to receive the same marriage benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples was “immoral and unnecessary.” Tobin also warned Catholics that attending same-sex marriage ceremonies "might harm their relationship with God."

Though the bishop now considers himself a Republican, Tobin admitted he still supported the abolishment of the death penalty, environmental regulations, fair wages, and unions.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by WPRI, below: