Stephanie Petelos has not been ousted from her position as the chair of the Alabama College Republicans. The Alabama Republican Party had been threatening to oust her over her support of same-sex marriage.
The threat gained national attention.
What happened was that Bonnie Sachs, an executive committee member, had proposed a rule change that would have allowed for the removal of a junior member of the committee if they expressed support for anything that was not in line with the Republican Party Platform. That platform includes a plank saying marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Petelos has stated that she hopes that what she went through “doesn’t scare or shy anyone away from the party.” Unfortunately for her, such sentiments may be misplaced given the fact that the GOP is rapidly driving people away through their hardline stances and this is likely to just fuel that.
Sachs stated taht members of the steering committee must serve “in such a way that we don’t go to the media with an agenda that we may have.”
Others showing that they have no understanding of the First Amendment, claimed that they did not want to vote for the rule change due to wanting to respect Petelos’ free speech rights despite not holding the same view. The First Amendment only covers the government and bans the government censorship of speech by citizens. It does not stop citizens from censoring others or criticizing their speech.
Clay Barclay, another member of the committee, did say, though, that “We’re not the Taliban. We’re not the Third Reich.”
Unfortunately, the Republican Party and the Tea Party subfaction within have been engaging in a mutual attempt to force those who they feel do not follow orthodoxy out of the party.