Democrats look to back gay marriage at convention

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:37pm EDT

Partners Bill Wilson (R) and Fernando Orlandi walk inside San Francisco City Hall as they prepare to get married on the first full day of legal same-sex marriage in California June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Erin Siegal

Partners Bill Wilson (R) and Fernando Orlandi walk inside San Francisco City Hall as they prepare to get married on the first full day of legal same-sex marriage in California June 17, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Erin Siegal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic Party is aiming to include support for gay marriage in its party platform this year for the first time in its history, a Democratic source said on Monday.

The platform drafting committee unanimously approved language on Sunday endorsing same-sex marriage among the policy positions that will be presented to the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where President Barack Obama will formally accept the party's nomination in early September to run for re-election.

The approval was first reported in The Washington Blade, which said the language also rejected the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996 that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.

The Obama administration said last year it would no longer support DOMA. Obama's Republican opponent, Republican Mitt Romney, is a gay-marriage opponent who supports the statute and promises to defend "traditional marriage" if he is elected on November 6.

In May, Obama became the first U.S. president to say he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The largest U.S. civil rights group, the NAACP, has also endorsed gay marriage, saying the fight for gay rights is a civil rights issue.

Six U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, but 30 have banned it.

The 15-member Democratic Party platform drafting committee met in Minneapolis during the weekend. A draft will be considered in Detroit on August 10, and it will then go to convention delegates for final approval.

Religious conservatives, an important component of the Republican Party base, staunchly oppose gay marriage, but polls show support for the issue rising, especially among younger Americans.

(Reporting By Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (19)
Domsayshi wrote:
Do they intend to include financial growth in their talks, perhaps outline a strategy? Or is it running on only the “we are different” than you platform? More divisiveness as they hope to etch out at least a one percent margin of victory. Make everyone a promise.
Democracy is a failure. I really believe this. Tyranny by the majority is no better than tyranny from a singular.
Abstaining from another election.

Jul 30, 2012 4:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
This will lose North Carolina for the President. Very bad choice of venue for this issue.

Jul 30, 2012 4:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bobber1956 wrote:
This just clinched it for a lot of undecided. I saw an interview with a Latino Woman the night Obummer came out of the closet, “I voted for Obama last time but I can not vote for some one that goes against my moral beliefs, I will not vote for him again”. With this I feel he will alienate (no pun intended) a large portion of one of his strongest bases. Perhaps two. The only remote chance he has now is to flip-flop, go independent, and hope Allah is with him.

Jul 30, 2012 5:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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