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
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
“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.