Support for gay marriage is part of the Democratic Party’s preliminary platform for the fall, Representative Barney Frank’s office confirmed to the Globe on Monday.
Democrats’ platform drafting committee, which includes Frank, met in Minneapolis over the weekend and agreed on draft language that would put a major political party officially onboard with legal same-sex marriage for the first time in US history.
The language will be considered by the full Democratic platform committee, which meets in Detroit between Aug. 10 and 12. If approved, an endorsement of same-sex marriage will be put to a vote at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September.
Democrats’ preliminary backing of same-sex marriage was reported first by the Washington Blade, a newspaper focused on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Citing an unnamed Democratic source, the paper reported the tentative platform also includes a rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
“I was part of a unanimous decision to include’’ same-sex marriage, Frank, who wed his longtime partner earlier this month, told the Blade.
The inclusion of a plank supporting gay marriage on the Democratic platform would follow President Obama’s announcement in May that he supports legal same-sex marriage.
“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an interview at the White House with “Good Morning America” coanchor Robin Roberts.
The first endorsement by a sitting president marked a milestone on the road toward legal same-sex marriage, and the backing of the Democratic Party would mark another, according to Kara S. Suffredini, executive director of Mass Equality, an LGBT rights group. “We are thrilled that marriage equality has so far made it onto the Democratic platform,” Suffredini said. “This is the start of more equality, not more division.”
Suffredini added that she is not worried about a possible conservative backlash, saying she believes “the days of gay marriage as a divisive vote driver are over.”