Openly Gay RNC Delegate Asks Republicans To Change Their Stance On Marriage Equality

"Freedom means freedom for everyone..."

Rachel Hoff — the first openly gay member of the Republican platform committee — delivered a passionate plea to members of her party's leadership to change their long-held stance on same-sex marriage.

On Thursday, Hoff emailed her fellow Republican committee members to persuade them to support the LGBT community in the wake of the recent shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people.

"Followers of radical Islam hate everything we stand for as Americans," Hoff wrote. "As we stand up for our freedoms, we must also stand together as Americans — and as Republicans — to protect everyone from extremist threats to our freedom and to our lives."

On Monday, the RNC's platform committee met in Cleveland to vote on policy changes. Hoff — a delegate representing presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio — introduced changes to the marriage section of the platform to acknowledge a "diversity of opinion" within the party.

Although Republicans have traditionally opposed marriage equality, there has been some movement towards acceptance within the party in recent years. 33 percent of Republicans — including 58 percent of millennial Republicans — support same-sex marriage. Even some prominent Republican politicians have supported marriage equality.

Hoff got emotional at the RNC meeting when she spoke about the party's opportunity to be more inclusive to LGBT members by ending the "hurtful rhetoric."

"We are your daughters, we are your sons, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, the couple that sits next to you in church," Hoff said. "And one day when I am ready to marry the woman I love, I hope it will be me. Freedom means freedom for everyone, including gays and lesbians who should have the freedom to enter into relationships and receive the same protections as heterosexual couples."

Although the amendment failed to pass the 120-member committee (it only received about 30 votes in favor of passing), Hoff has been praised for her courage to speak out on behalf of LGBT rights.