For the first time, Democrats included an affirmative embrace of same-sex marriage in their party platform.
“We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples,” the platform, revealed prior to the Democratic National Convention, says.
Earlier in the year, President Barack Obama announced he had “evolved” on the issue of same-sex marriage and personally was in favor of it while still supporting the rights of states to decide the issue in their jurisdictions.
The “Freedom to Marry” section of the platform reads, “We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law.”
The platform declares Democrats oppose “discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples.” The party further supports “the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.”
Obama’s and the Democrats’ evolution on gay marriage will appeal to young, progressive voters but may turn off many of the so-called Reagan Democrats who adhere to more traditional values.