A few months after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, the Democratic Party seems prepared to fully support marriage equality in the election, with the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee preparing a plank on the issue.
In recent years, more and more liberal-leaning Democrats in blue states have felt comfortable publicly calling for marriage equality, but the national party has never officially endorsed the issue in its platform.
Now, however, it appears that the Platform Drafting Committee, is working to include support for marriage equality and LGBT rights in the workplace in the platform to be adopted at the convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. Though the committee has not publicly released the statement supporting marriage equality, Buzzfeed claims to have obtained a copy of this text.
The full statement, according to Buzzfeed, follows.
"We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.
"We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act."
Buzzfeed has also obtained drafts of language supporting equal labor rights and protections at work for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. In particular, the statement offers support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The full text of the draft follows.
"We know that putting America back to work is job one, and we are committed to ensuring Americans do not face employment discrimination. We support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
"President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to ensuring all Americans are treated fairly. This administration hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and we must continue our work to prevent vicious bullying of young people and support LGBT youth. The president's record, from ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in full cooperation with our military leadership, to passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to ensuring same-sex couples can visit each other in the hospital, reflects Democrats' belief that all Americans deserve the same chance to pursue happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love."
Of course, these statements are not official yet. They still have to pass through the Platform Committee. With Obama;s recent support for marriage equality, however, chances are good that the statements will pass, even if some minor changes are ultimately made.
The Democratic Party's 2008 platform was much less specific about gay issues. While the party officially opposed the Defense of Marriage Act -- which was signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996 -- its platform did not make specific mention of marriage equality.
"We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation," the 2008 platform read, "and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us."
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