“I’d have been a coward if I didn’t,” Riggleman said of the request in an interview. “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, we’re the party of individual liberty.”

But it’s also the party whose 2016 national platform called marriage between a man and woman “the foundation for a free society.” A 2019 Pew poll found around 45% of Republican voters support same-sex marriage, a number that has steadily increased over time.

The wedding sparked a backlash and nomination challenge from Bob Good that may cost Riggleman his seat when local Republicans members meet this weekend for a convention to ratify their party’s candidates this fall’s election. For Good, a born-again evangelical Christian and former Liberty University athletics director, Riggleman’s laissez-faire approach to same-sex marriage is emblematic of failings that make him unfit for office.