Dems Draft Platform Backs Gay Marriage
WASHINGTON (AP) - A draft of the Democratic Party's official party platform includes support for gay marriage for the first time, months after President Barack Obama said he was in favor of same-sex unions.
The party platform draft includes support for "marriage equality" and efforts to bring "equal treatment under law for same-sex couples," according to a person who has seen the draft language. The person spoke on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of a platform committee meeting in Detroit on Saturday.
Including the language in the party platform would represent a milestone for advocates of gay marriage and the culmination of a push by several prominent Democrats to support same-sex marriage in the platform. The effort picked up momentum in May when Obama said he personally supported same-sex unions.
The party's platform drafting committee voted to include language backing gay marriage last month in Minneapolis. The language will be considered by the platform committee this weekend but could be amended before the party's convention in Charlotte, N.C., in early September.
Obama will officially accept the Democratic nomination at the convention, which marks the kickoff of the fall presidential campaign. Republican Mitt Romney will accept the GOP nomination later this month during his party's convention in Tampa, Fla.
In the current draft of the Democratic platform, party officials say, "We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples." It also notes support for "churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference."
The draft platform includes opposition to federal and state constitutional amendments denying equal protection under the law for same-sex couples and supports the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such marriages.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said marriage equality has quickly become a mainstream American value "and it's a sign of the times that the Democratic Party has included language affirming the ability of gays and lesbians to marry in its draft platform."
The draft language was first reported by Buzzfeed.