–26-year-old Dom Gelsomino, speaking at the State Republican Convention in Pocatello, Idaho. In the longest speech given at the convention, Gelsomino took to the microphone on the floor of the convention to oppose amendments to the party’s platform related to gay marriage.
“Government should not be involved whatsoever in a matter that was not delegated to it by the Constitution,” Gelsomino said in his floor speech, reports the Idaho Falls Post Register.
Gelsomino, the first openly gay Republican to seek office in Idaho — he previously ran for state legislature and for the city council of Meridian — is a libertarian who affiliates with the GOP and believes that, while Democrats are more guilty of expanding government beyond its constitutional limits, the GOP has committed the same error when it comes to same-sex marriage.
A devout Christian, Gelsomino used his speech at the GOP convention to urge the party to abandon its opposition to same-sex marriage, arguing that it’s not within the purview of government to infringe on others’ civil liberties.
“Scripture tells us, in John 15:12, ‘This is my commandment: that you love one another as I the Lord God have loved you,'” he said as he held up a copy of the Bible. “God loves all his children unconditionally. … What gives government any authority to say otherwise?”
Gelsomino believes the GOP should be committed to preserving individual liberty and limited government, not requiring the government to put a stamp of approval on private relations. He plans to run for office again in the future, espousing exactly those same principles.
While some reacted negatively to his speech, and his attempt to defeat the anti-gay marriage amendments eventually failed, many delegates approached him afterward to congratulate or praise him.
He also got a shout-out from State Rep. Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls), a co-founder of the Idaho House Freedom Caucus, who endorsed the principles Gelsomino laid forth in his speech.
“We as Republicans are and need to remain the party of inclusion,” Zollinger tweeted. “Less intrusive government means government has no business in licensing families. Thank you for reminding some of these party principles [Dom].”