The well-chronicled soap opera known as the Alabama Republican Party and the questionable tactics it employed to what many say was to silence a pro-gay marriage College Republican came to, at least for now, a close on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala.
At its summer meeting, the ALGOP’s executive committee rejected a proposed amendment and rule change that would have prohibited steering committee members from publicly opposing policy positions held by the state and national arms of the Republican Party.
This issue came to the forefront after University of Alabama College Republican chairwoman Stephanie Petelos, also the president of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, publicly criticized the GOP’s refusal to change its stance on same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
As the president of the College Republican Federation, Petelos has a seat on the party’s steering committee. There were those looking to remove her from that key committee in the wake of her remarks, but there was also an apparent backlash due to those efforts.
“We’re not the Taliban,” committee member Clay Barclay of Mobile, Ala. said at the assembled meeting. “We’re not the Third Reich.”
Petelos had many allies in the proceedings who argued protecting the First Amendment was more important than putting up a unified front, which was one of the arguments those in favor of the amendments had put forth.
.@SenCamWard: “we’ve fought hard for the 2nd Amendment. We need to fight equally hard for the 1st.”
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) August 24, 2013
Petelos told al.com’s Kim Chandler she was “relieved with the outcome and expressed her gratitude to those who had sided with her.”
“I’ve been really happy with all the support that I’ve received,” Petelos said. “I’ve received a lot of support from literally all over the country. I hope that this more so inspires young people to want to get involved and have their voices heard. I really hope this doesn’t scare or shy people away from the party.”