The Alabama Republican Party voted Saturday against a proposed rule that would have removed a junior member from its steering committee because of her support of gay marriage, the Associated Press reported.
The measure was aimed at Stephanie Petelos, the chairwoman of the Alabama College Republicans, who had made public comments in support of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Petelos told the AP she hopes her ordeal "doesn't scare or shy anyone away from the party."
Bonnie Sachs, an executive committee member who proposed the rule change, told the AP that steering committee members need to serve "in such a way that we don't go to the media with an agenda that we may have." Other committee members said they didn't share Petalos' view on gay marriage, but did respect her First Amendment right to expressing that view.
"We're not the Taliban. We're not the Third Reich," committee member Clay Barclay told the AP.