Democrats’ preliminary platform includes support for gay marriage – Nation – The Boston Globe

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’ preliminary platform includes support for gay marriage - Nation - The Boston Globe

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.”

– The Boston Globe.

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Obama’s gay marriage endorsement resonates around the U.S.

President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is resonating on multiple local levels. In states where same-sex marriage has been at the forefront of public debate, the president’s position may have caused some black voters to reconsider their stance on gay marriage, recent polls indicate. And it’s making a difference in Minnesota, too, where voters in November will go to the polls to decide on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

After Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage in May, the phones at Minnesota United for All Families’ campaign headquarters were ringing off the hook.

“The next day, we didn’t have enough chairs for everybody wanting to work with the campaign,” the anti-amendment group’s press secretary Kate Brickman told TPM. Volunteer interest “definitely swelled,” she added.

via  TPM2012.

A survey to be released Tuesday from Public Policy Polling (D) indicates a “big shift” against the amendment over the past four months. A January PPP poll of Minnesota showed that 48 percent of voters support the amendment, while 44 percent are opposed. The results fell along generational lines: voters under the age of 64 oppose the amendment. Seniors support the amendment 58/32.

Brickman said she wasn’t surprised to see PPP announce that Minnesota is seeing a shift against the amendment. “The momentum has been accelerating more and more,” she said. “Following North Carolina and Obama’s statement, people really started talking about it.”

If the PPP numbers show that more and more Minnesotans are opposed to the amendment, Brickman said it is a testament to the “power of conversations.” The campaign is focused on getting Minnesotans to talk about marriage equality. “People who are willing to talk about why they’re voting no with their friends and family is the most powerful thing that can happen,” she said.

Hamline University political science professor David Schultz agrees that Obama’s endorsement is energizing Minnesotans against the amendment. The president is popular in Minnesota, he said, so voters equate support for Obama with opposition to the amendment.

The amendment has seen an “erosion of support” over the past few months. Schultz added that independents are coming out against the amendment. The centrists might not be fully supportive of legalizing gay marriage, he said, but they don’t like elected officials “fiddling with the Constitution.”

“A shift has occurred,” Schultz told TPM.

If Minnesotans vote down the amendment, the North Star state will be the first among 30 other states to reject such a proposal. The Republican state legislature a year ago voted to send the measure to the ballot. Obama’s campaign, before the president publicly came out in favor of gay marriage, opposed the amendment, calling it “divisive” and “discriminatory.”

The pro-amendment campaign, Minnesota for Marriage, did not respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

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