The president of the Alabama Federation of College Republicans, Stephanie Petelos, made some comments in June that could be interpreted as supportive of gay marriage and said that divide over gay marriage was more generational than anything.
Since then, a member of the Alabama GOP steering committee, Bonny Sachs, has been trying to get Petelos removed from the seat on the committee reserved for the AFCR president. He has filed a motion that calls for the removal of anyone from the steering committee who voices an opinion contrary to the RNC platform.
Sachs proposed a change to the state party bylaws this week that would stipulate that anyone who voiced an opinion contrary to the Republican National Committee’s national platform would be removed from the steering committee — a move many acknowledge directly targets Petelos.
Reached for comment, Sachs told BuzzFeed only, “It’s an internal issue that the party will handle.”
The local intra-party conflict comes at a time when the national GOP is trying to broaden its appeal and build a new national coalition of voters that includes young social moderates. In fact, the RNC published a report in January that included a call to be more tolerant of a range of opinions on gay rights.
In a time when the GOP needs to broaden its appeal, especially to younger voters, it’s probably not a good idea to do some “RINO hunting” targeted at a 23 year old young lady over a single disagreement on one issue.