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Alabama GOP won’t silence same-sex marriage proponent

Saturday, August 24, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Ala.– Alabama’s Republican Party decided Saturday against a rule meant to silence a young party leader who supports same-sex marriage, even though the party doesn’t share her view.

Stephanie Petelos, chairman of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, created a furor in the party when she supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and said more young people would take the position if they didn’t fear a backlash from party leaders.

Stephanie Petelos

After passionate comments from both sides Saturday, the State Republican Executive Committee cast a lopsided voice vote to reject a proposed rule change aimed at Petelos’ remarks.

It said that no member of the party’s steering committee may publicly oppose any resolution passed by the party’s executive committee. Petelos serves on the 21-member steering committee because of her College Republican position.

She said she hopes the vote inspires more young people to get involved in the party and make their voices heard. “I really hope this doesn’t scare or shy people away from the party,” the University of Alabama senior said.

Petelos is from a family that was Republican long before the party dominated Alabama politics. Her father, Tony Petelos, was a Republican legislator, director of the state Department of Human Resource and mayor of Hoover before becoming administrator of Jefferson County. Her mother, Teresa Petelos, served as a Republican circuit judge in Jefferson County until getting beat by a Democrat last year.

Executive committee member Bonnie Sachs of Double Springs, who proposed the rule change, said steering committee members such as Petelos should be held to a higher standard of not publicly criticizing the party’s positions, including traditional marriage.

Several speakers said they don’t share Petelos’ view, but the party must defend her First Amendment right to express it.

After voting down the rule change, the executive committee passed a resolution reaffirming its support for traditional marriage and its opposition to abortion.

One of Alabama’s best known Republicans, Chief Justice Roy Moore, ended the meeting by telling the GOP, “If the Republican Party of this state should ever adopt same-sex marriage, I will no longer be a part of the Republican Party.”

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9 more reader comments:

  1. Bye bye roy moore. Your time is coming to an end!

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 12:10am
  2. Good riddance Roy Moore, you antiquated old bastard who thinks you are above the law! And praise to this young lady for showing Alabama and the entire United States that our state, which I love and am embarrassed by constantly, has progressive and open minded people that still reside here!

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 12:38am
  3. Even the GOP realize they cant stop what´s right.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 12:42am
  4. Cheers!

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 2:11am
  5. Are they just going to shun her?

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 2:21am
  6. i know that we as progressives would welcome such a tenacious woman into our ranks , hopefully she sees her error and gets as far away from the republicans as she can

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 2:53am
  7. Fuck Alabama.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 3:57am
  8. I would rather see the republican party rid itself from all those crazies and racists who are trying to lead this country into ruin because their frqagile ego´s can´t handle the fact that American citizens voted in a black man. I am a true democrat but there is no requirement that republicans have to be crazed ignorant fools.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 4:06am
  9. @Lorraine You know I find it ironic that progressives and ultra libs point out that the president is black far more than even many outspoken racists I know. I am rather passionate in my dislike of the president because he´s rapidly increased the erosion of rights that started back in the 1800s and has gotten worse and worse since Bush Sr and every president after him.

    As for the article, good job on the GOP in Alabama. You can´t expect to change the opinions of a large group of passionate people overnight and acknowledging that dissent from the party is acceptable by someone in a positron of some authority is a major step in the right direction.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 3:06pm