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Democrats Add Gay Marriage to Party Platform in Historic Vote

Democrats Add Gay Marriage to Party Platform in Historic Vote

 

A committee for the Democratic Party approved in a unanimous vote on Sunday the inclusion of marriage equality in the draft party platform, among other LGBT rights-affirming positions.

Reports the Washington Blade:

Retiring gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who sits on the committee, told the Washington Blade on Monday that the 15-member panel unanimously backed the inclusion of a marriage equality plank after a national hearing over the weekend in Minneapolis, in which several witnesses testified in favor of such language.

“I was part of a unanimous decision to include it,” Frank said. “There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it.”

[...]

A DNC staffer, who is familiar with the process and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the language in the platform approved on Sunday not only backs marriage equality, but also rejects DOMA and has positive language with regard to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The exact wording of the language wasn’t immediately available.

Why is this big news?

While individual Democratic lawmakers have made absolutely no secret of their opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act and, some of them, their support for marriage equality itself, the official party platform has maintained that the party supports marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.

The move to change the language is not unprecedented however. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking earlier this year in response to the “Say I Do” Freedom to Marry campaign, said she supported making marriage equality an official part of the party’s ethos.

There is also the fact, of course, that President Obama has very openly and very firmly said he now supports marriage equality.

However, there are those in the Democratic Party that, while agreeing with the consensus that the federal Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed, do not support same-sex marriage. If the Democratic Party were to adopt this rumoured new language it may also put pressure on more conservative members, potentially creating divisions in the party.

The language, along with the rest of the platform, must yet be finalized during a Detroit, Michigan, meeting in August, and then ratified in September in Charlotte. However, with this unanimous backing it would seem there is strong support behind what a majority of Americans say they already agree on: that allowing same-sex couples equal access to the rights of marriage is a fundamental matter of fairness.

 

Related Reading:

Republican Stars in Washington Marriage Equality Ad

WWII Veteran on Why Marriage Equality Matters (VIDEO)

‘Gay Marriage Potential’ Means Church Won’t Sell to Couple

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Image by Sam Mugraby (Photos8.com).

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67 comments

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4:41PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Timothy M.
Well said.
I hope no one mistook my late night rambling to suggest that we should be paranoid and climb back in our closets for fear of what might happen down the line. Just that we should be mindful of what the extremist are doing and how they react down the line. Being prepared for the worst is not a bad thing as long as we live life fully now.

1:01PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

When I was a boy, nobody dared speak the work homosexual. If you knew one, it was that crazy uncle Harry.....and isn't he weird? Let's not talk about it. If you were one, and you made it known, you were literally spat upon and sometimes ran out of town. And if you suppressed it, dying a slow death, you became one of those bitter old men who had not really lived an authentic life.
So if we have come out into the open, I say "hurray". Let them try to come for us. We are alive while those who "police" our orientations are dead in their soul.
And, yes, as I have said before.......my relation to God is not the business of organized religion. I am a church goer, but not because my church tells me how to believe. They are interpreters, inspirers, and support.

12:56PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

There may be strong support for this, let's see what the deep south has to say....

2:09AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

We should all be cautious in our enthusiasm though.
This could divide some of our Democratic supporters away from the party. Although LGBT rights are very important to me, including marriage, there are many other fights going on right now political that I feel are important as well. I just hope this doesn't backfire. Let's face it there are a lot of haters left out there.

Also...I don't want to sound paranoid but let's be mindful, that if we do make some gains, it only will take the Republican Reich to get control and undo things. By then gays all across the country will have revealed themselves quite openly. It would be very easy to round us up and air lift us like some have suggested into those lovely camps. Don't believe it could happen in the USA. Let's remember the camps during WWII. No not the Nazi's death camps. I am talking about our camps for Japanese Americans. All it takes is the right buttons of fear to be pressed and we can jump on just about any train that comes along.

This is the point that we LGBT people need to be very careful, and our families and friends should be mindful of what they see and hear going on around them. I don't think it would get that bad, but for those of us who are out and vocal, we could easily find ourselves being considered criminals with just a slight lean in the polling.

1:15AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

I petitioned for this to happen; but, ya know, I didn't think the Dems had the guts to actually do it! Things are changing even faster than some of us Activists had envisioned. 20 years ago, who would've thought the American Public would be so ready for Marriage Equality?! This is tremendously encouraging.

12:33AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Thanks for posting.

10:45PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

@Timothy W. It is true that many of our founding fathers were Deist in their religious leanings.
Some founders had an appreciation for the teachings of Christ the man but offered nothing but rebuke for organized religion finding in many cases such to be but the tools of tyranny.

Taking a look at certain political campaigns of later one would be hard pressed to find fault with the founders views.

10:02PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

This is an interesting insight to Thomas Jefferson's view on religion

www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/61/Letter_from_Thomas_Jefferson_to_Mrs_Samuel_H_Smith_1.html

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith
August 6, 1816
(This is only a small excerpt of the entire letter.)
But I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to him, and not to the priests. I never told my own religion, nor scrutinized that of another.

8:57PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Back in the days of the bible, the earth was far less populated, and families relied on having many children to help run the farms and trades of their family. Marriages were far less formed out of love than the merging of families and wealth. The command to go forth and be friutfull was more logical when the world wasn't so heavily overpopulated. Now we don't need families to be so large, and we are plenty populated. Marriage is most often out of love...in our culture anyway. When the bible spoke about man not laying with man as he would a women, it was also talking about infidelity toward your mate. The bible was written in such a way that it can have as many interpretations as it has pages. Lets also not forget how many times it was re-written in the words of mere men. King James had monks put to death for not including or excluding what he wanted. Jesus said the old laws were no more, and then more men came along and wrote more.

In the United State of America, our Forefathers saw the problem with government trying to accommodate all laws and decided that separation of church and state was the best way to go.

By the way many of our Forefathers wrote to each other about their religion, and described themselves as Deitist, as apposed to Christian. That spelling I can't get right now, but what they meant was they believed in a higher power, but not necessarily the Christian God. In those days they would not have mentioned this publicly because even then the Christian we

8:42PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Adding gay marriage to the Democratic party's platform will help to differentiate the two parties for the November election.

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