Over the weekend, the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee rejected an effort to silence, or oust, a college Republican who made comments supporting gay marriage.
Stephanie Petelos is the president of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, which places her on a 21-member steering committee. Back in June, Petelos said that while many GOPers had come out in support of gay marriage, “a lot” more “would be actively for it if they didn’t live in fear of backlash from party leaders.”
“The majority of students don’t derive the premise of their argument for or against gay marriage from religion, because we’re governed by the constitution and not the Bible,” Petelos said.
Breaking with party lines didn’t sit well with some Grand Old Partiers, namely committee member Bonnie Sachs, who proposed a rule change forbidding any member of the steering committee from publicly opposing a resolution adopted by the party’s executive committee.
“This has never been about taking away anyone’s rights to freedom of speech as has been construed to the public and the media,” Sachs said, as reported by AL.com. “If we are going to serve on the Republican steering committee, we need to do so in such a way that we don’t go to the media with an agenda that we may have.”
Realizing that Alabama was not some Fascist state, or Russia — though, it’s been touch and go there for the past, oh, forever — the committee overwhelmingly voted against the change.
“We’re not the Taliban. We’re not the Third Reich,” said committee member Clay Barclay, who argued that it helps to have differing opinions. Especially when the same old opinions have gotten the GOP nowhere slow.
“It’s not about whether we support heterosexual traditional marriage or not,” added Alabama Republican Minority Chairman Phillip Brown. “It’s about free speech.”
Is that the sounds of progress we hear? Speak up, dearie, we stopped listening during the 2012 Election.