Alabama GOP Rejects Punitive Action Against College Republican Over Same-Sex Marriage

As I noted last week, the Alabama Republican Party was set this weekend to consider a measure that was meant to serve as punishment against the head of the Alabama College Republicans for her public support of same-sex marriage. In a display of sanity, though, that measure has failed:

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama Republicans this morning overwhelmingly rejected an effort to silence, or oust, a college Republican over comments she made about gay marriage.

The party’s Executive Committee  voted down a proposed rule change that said no member of the party’s steering committee could publicly oppose a resolution adopted by the party’s executive committee.

The vote came after the president of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, Stephanie Petelos, upset some Republicans when she made remarks critical of the party’s staunch position on gay marriage.

Petelos is a member of the steering committee because of her position. She told al.com in June that more young Republicans would likely speak out in favor of gay marriage if they “didn’t live in fear of backlash from party leaders.

(…)

The motion died on a lopsided voice vote after a passionate debate that highlighted some of the party’s divides.

Committee member Clay Barclay of Mobile said it doesn’t hurt to have differing opinions on some issues. “We’re not the Taliban. We’re not the Third Reich,”
he said.

Alabama Republican Minority chairman Phillip Brown said, “It’s not about whether we support traditional heterosexual traditional marriage or not.

“It’s about free speech.”

Brown suggested the issue was about control of the powerful steering committee.

“I’m appalled at the extent our chairman will go to ensure no one opposes him on the steering committee,” Brown said.

Alabama Republican Bill Armistead said after the meeting that the accusation was “ridiculous.”

“Everybody on the steering committee knows that’s not true,” Armistead said.

Armistead said he did not make public his thoughts on the proposal.

Petelos said she was nervous going into the day but was relieved at the outcome.

“I’ve been really happy with all the support that I’ve received. I’ve received a lot of support from literally all over the country,” Petelos said.

“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,” Petelos said.

Say what you will about the GOP, but this is one small positive sign in an otherwise bleak world.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    It’s an outbreak of sanity. It won’t last.

  2. @michael reynolds:

    It’s Alabama (“State Motto: We’re No. 49! Please go west to visit No. 50”) of course it won’t last. These are the people who re-elected that idiot Roy Moore to be Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court.

  3. Todd says:

    Say what you will about the GOP, but this is one small positive sign in an otherwise bleak world.

    Actually that does say quite a bit about the GOP … that simply not doing something which most rational people would consider to be ridiculous, is viewed as a “positive” sign. 🙂

  4. PJ says:

    Alabama Republicans this morning overwhelmingly rejected an effort to silence, or oust, a college Republican over comments she made about gay marriage.

    The party’s Executive Committee voted down a proposed rule change that said no member of the party’s steering committee could publicly oppose a resolution adopted by the party’s executive committee.

    Up next, the actual Alabama Republicans, not the elitist Executive Committee, voting to oust the Executive Committee for voting down the proposed rule change that would have silenced or ousted a college Republican over comments she made about gay marriage…

  5. James Pearce says:

    The party’s Executive Committee voted down a proposed rule change that said no member of the party’s steering committee could publicly oppose a resolution adopted by the party’s executive committee.

    Wow……that’s bold.

    What was the vote total? It should have been a unanimous NO.

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    Kudos Doug for doing a follow-up on this story.

  7. David in KC says:

    Nice to see the result, but I foresee what PJ foresees, a push by the religious right to oust those that voted against that. This is a step forward, but if the steering committee is purged, it’s going to be two steps back.

  8. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    More likely a combination of pragmatism and public relations. How good do a bunch of middle-aged guys look when they gang up on a very young woman?

  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @CSK: Is she white?

  10. Davebo says:

    @CSK:

    Ever heard of Sandra Fluke?

  11. fred says:

    WOW, sanity being shown in Alabama. Maybe the south is finally seeing the light re GOP and TP extremism and anti-Americanism.

  12. superdestroyer says:

    @CSK:

    The difference is that Sandra Fluke will have a lifetime career out of being picked on by Republicans. Ms. Fluke will be able to influence policy and governance in the future.

    However, Stephanie Petelos is involved in a totally irrelevant polittical group: The College Republicans. In addition, Ms. Petelos has decide to pursue a career in conservative politics that has zero chance of influence policy or governance in the near future. My guess in a few years some progressive media site will look up Ms. Petelos and find out that she has become a Democrat for blatantly conservative purposes.

  13. anjin-san says:

    How good do a bunch of middle-aged guys look when they gang up on a very young woman?

    Like conservative talking heads?