The Democrats platform is being finalized prior to their convention. Interestingly, it states that the Democratic Party will:
support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.
We 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. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
The Democrats platform in 2008 was more vague in its support for equal rights and applied heavily to treatment in the workplace.
We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.
The movement within four years is a giant leap for the party and for equal rights advocates. Not only does the Democrats platform push the envelope on the issue, but it ensures that equal rights will be a voting and debate issue this fall.
We will see Democrats and Republicans battle on the issue from local office races to the presidential election. The dialogue will radically change with a major party supporting the position. Interestingly the drafting committee unanimously voted to include the plank in the platform. A vocal advocate within the committee is Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) who married his long-time partner this summer.