Yesterday, the Democratic Party platform drafters approved language that would make same-sex marriage a plank in the platform. According to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), an openly gay congressman who sits on the committee, the 15-member panel universally supported the same-sex marriage plank. “I was part of a unanimous decision to include it,” Frank explained. “There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it.”
This would be a major break from prior Democratic Party platforms, and would put the Party in major conflict with voters in swing states. Virginians disapprove same-sex marriage by a margin of 49-42 percent; North Carolinians approved Amendment One, the Constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage, by a margin of 61-39. Other states, including Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, and Arizona, also generally disapprove same-sex marriage. Just a few swing states, including Colorado, do support same-sex marriage according to polls.
From August 10 to August 12, the full platform committee will meet to consider whether the plank should be included. But the fact that Frank is going public about the platform means that it is unlikely that the Party will back down.
A bevy of gays and lesbians testified before the committee, encouraging them to adopt the plank. The leader of these witnesses was Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry. “We are grateful for the Platform Drafting Committee’s unanimous vote to include the freedom to marry in its draft of the Democratic Party Platform,” said Solomon.
The Democratic National Committee has not yet issued comment.