He’s out, but perhaps not quite fully proud.
Mike Pryor is the first openly gay Republican to run for Iowa Legislature, but LGBT rights isn’t part of his campaign platform.
— Des Moines Daily (@desmoinesdaily) August 24, 2016
In fact, Pryor questions whether marriage equality has benefitted the community, and treats his sexual orientation as something of a negative, according to The Des Moines Register:
His views on LGBT rights try to balance on the knife’s edge between personal freedom and religious liberty.
“That issue is an intersection of civil rights, r-i-g-h-t-s, and religious rites, r-i-t-e. It’s the unhappy intersection of both,” he said. “For the community, I certainly believe everybody needs to be equal. Has gay marriage necessarily benefited our community? It certainly has benefited some folks. Others, not so much. We joke that the only people making any money off of gay marriage are divorce lawyers.”
During his speech to the Polk County central committee, Pryor seemed to include being gay as a negative aspect of his candidacy. “I’m not the perfect candidate. I’ve been in jail for disturbing the peace. I’ve gone through personal bankruptcy. I’m gay. But I also believe we can do so much more than what we are doing today,” he said, according to a news release from the Republican Party of Polk County.
Pryor, a service station manager and dedicated foster parent who was nominated to run for a vacant Senate seat, is a heavy underdog against the Democrat in the district that includes the east side of Des Moines. He’s pro-life and pro-gun rights, but there’s no word on whether he backs GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The chair of the local GOP told the Register Pryor’s candidacy is a sign that “Republicans are more comfortable with the idea of people who have differences in terms of their sexual preferences … being involved in our party.”