Ever since President Obama came out in support of marriage equality in May, there has been a lot of pressure on the Democratic Party to do the same. Well now it seems that party officials may just be giving into that pressure.
Over the weekend at a meeting in Minneapolis, the Democratic Party platform drafting committee approved the first step in amending their party platform’s stance on same-sex marriage. In two weeks, at a meeting scheduled in Detroit, the entire platform committee will then vote on whether to incorporate language that endorses same-sex marriage into their party platform. After that, if the initiative is approved as is expected, it will be voted on by a convention of delegates in Charlotte for final passage in early September.
In a recent article of the Washington Blade, openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, who sits on the committee, discussed the decision to endorse marriage equality:
“I was part of a unanimous decision to include it,” said Frank (D-MA). “There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it.”
Although the language used in the amendment may be altered slightly once the entire platform committee votes on it, party officials do not expect that the amendment will face much difficulty in getting approved. In fact, the vote over the weekend even reiterated the Democratic Party’s opposition to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Despite the growing cultural acceptance of marriage equality, the issue remains a difficult one for some Democrats and Republicans alike. Even so, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) made headlines earlier this month when she came out as the first GOP member of Congress to support same-sex marriage.
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of National Log Cabin Republicans, spoke with the Washington Blade about Ros-Lehtinen’s support of marriage equality:
“Marriage is a fundamental right of all Americans,” Cooper said. “It is time that our law respected all marriages. There is much work to be done to make that dream a reality, but with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s leadership, the freedom to marry for all Americans is on the horizon.”
Take Action: Just as President Obama’s announcement in May helped the Democratic Party come out in support of marriage equality, many LGBT advocates are hoping that Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s announcement will help her fellow Republican members of Congress do the same. Contact your elected officials and tell them that you stand behind bipartisan congressional efforts to support marriage equality. As these monumental decisions have shown, marriage equality is not a partisan issue. It is a human issue. Take action today and help spread the word!