A gay Republican put up a fight over his party's anti-LGBT platform but lost on Saturday.
Idaho newspapers reported in wonder about how Dom Gelsomino took the stage on Saturday at the party convention and demanded the delegates remove a plank about support for the "traditional" definition of marriage.
The Idaho Falls Post Register wrote first about the speech, "Young Conservative Throws Down Gauntlet on Gay Marriage." That was picked up by the Idaho Press-Tribune, which wrote, "Young Conservative Shakes Things Up at GOP Confab, But Anti-gay Marriage Planks Remain in Platform." It's since been picked up in the Bonner County Daily Bee, the Beaumont Enterprise, Idaho Statesman, and more. In other words, it's big news.
Gelsomino -- who has made runs for the state house and city council that both turned up short -- argued that opposing same-sex marriage is a violation of conservative ideals of inclusion and less intrusion on personal lives. He held a Bible over his head and quoted scripture to make his case, even as delegates from the floor objected but were turned back.
"God loves all his children unconditionally," he said. "What gives government any authority to say otherwise?"
The fact that same-sex marriage is legal in Idaho and nationwide doesn't stop Republican parties from proclaiming they'll do everything possible to support traditional marriage. And in the end, the party added a single sentence to its proclamation that reads, according to the Associated Press, "We recognize that the definition of marriage and its administration is not subject to federal authority and that Idaho is authorized to nullify any federal congressional act, federal mandate or court opinion that is contrary to traditional marriage."
Gelsomino told The Advocate he isn't dispirited by having lost this time, saying "strength comes in numbers."
"The number of people who showed support and encouragement afterward far outweighed the numbers that grumbled," he said.
Gelsomino says that although the planks he debated were added to the platform, it was close. "I feel if the motion to divide had been made and the planks could've been debated separately from the overall platform report, it could've turned out differently. But the motion made after I spoke was to approve the platform as a whole, which succeeded."
Gelsomino, who says he'd jump at another chance to run for state legislature if a seat became available in his district, isn't giving up on his push to evolve the party from within.
"I believe that as we continue to speak out using professionalism, class, compassion, and tact," he said, "we can inform and change hearts and minds in the future."
Watch the entire speech.