A GOP attempt to silence a young party leader's support for gay marriage has failed.

On Saturday, Alabama's Republican Party decided against a proposed rule that sought to prohibit members of the party's steering committee from publicly speaking out against any resolution approved by the State Republican Executive Committee, the AP reported.

The resolution was widely considered a veiled attempt to silence Stephanie Petelos, the 21-year-old chairman of the College Republican Federation of Alabama and a member of the party's steering committee. Petelos publicly supported the Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples. The executive committee had previously voiced its opposition to marriage equality.

“I really hope this doesn't scare or shy people away from the party,” said Petelos, a University of Alabama senior.

Petelos' supporters argued that the GOP must defend her First Amendment right to express her views.

“We're not the Taliban. We're not the Third Reich,” said Clay Barclay, a member of the executive committee.

After voting down the rule change, the 450 members of the executive committee voted to reaffirm the committee's opposition to gay nuptials and abortion.