Democrats, LGBT — July 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Democratic Party set to place marriage equality for LGBT couples in the party platform


Welcome to the real world

It’s a big day for LGBT rights in America today. First, a new Pew poll shows that a plurality of Americans support the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Then, on the same day, we learn that the Democratic Party are set to place support for same-sex marriage in the party’s 2012 platform.

From the Pew report:

Just four years ago, in 2008, only half (50%) of Democrats favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 42% were opposed. Support for gay marriage among Democrats has jumped to 65% today, more than double the percentage that is opposed (29%).

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press… finds that the partisan divide over gay marriage continues to widen. Just 24% of Republicans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, which is only slightly higher than the percentage of Republicans who supported gay marriage in 2008 (19%).

Independent support for gay marriage has grown substantially since 2008. More independents today favor (51%) than oppose (40%) gay marriage; four years ago independents were divided evenly (44% favor, 45% oppose).

The overall numbers nationally are 48% in support of same-sex marriage and only 44% against it. Clearly the trendlines are positive for fairness and equalty:

In a clear sign that the Democrats are evolving with the rest of the country, in contrast to Republicans, this morning retiring Congressman Barney Frank revealed that the Democratic Party will have support for same sex marriage on the docket to be put into the party platform at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in September:

I want you to be one of the first to know: After a unanimous decision on Sunday, the drafting committee for the Democratic National Convention embraced marriage equality as part of our platform for the 2012 Convention.

The next step will be for the full platform committee to vote on it, after which it will be presented to the delegates at the Convention in Charlotte for a final vote. Make no mistake: This is a historic step toward fairness for all. Once again, Democrats are fighting to move this country forward.

Please stand with Democrats today and support marriage equality for all Americans.

When President Obama became the first sitting president to support marriage equality, Democrats stood shoulder to shoulder with him. I still remember that day. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Now, it’s up to us to speak up for what he has called a simple proposition: that every single American deserves to be treated equally.

Add your name today and say you’re with Democrats as we fight for the right of every American to marry the person they love.

Thank you for standing up,
Congressman Barney Frank

Huge news and an historic step forward made easier by President Obama’s recent leadership on the acceptance of same-sex couples at every level.

Republicans, on the other hand, appear to still be living in the 20th Century where homophobia and discrimination rule their worldview. They do, apparently, at least realize they are out of the mainstream way of thinking on this. As Steven Benen at Maddow Blog writes, the GOP is silent on this.

There was no press release from the Republican National Committee; no statement from the Romney campaign; no screaming headlines about an “attack on traditional values” aired on Fox News. Democrats will become the first major American political party to change its platform to endorse legal protections for same-sex couples who wish to marry, and in a development that was hard to even imagine in the not-too-distant past, no one is blinking an eye.

If the right saw an electoral opportunity by going on the offensive on this, Republicans would take it. And therein lies the point — the political winds have shifted quickly and anti-gay bigotry no longer translates into votes. The GOP didn’t attack President Obama when he endorsed marriage equality in May, and the party didn’t attack Democrats yesterday, not just because Dems are on the right side of history, but because Republicans no longer want to advertise about being on the wrong side of public opinion.

As I have mentioned before, Anne and I will be attending the DNC in Charlotte with Team Eclectablog press credentials. I am also an alternate delegate and, with any luck, I’ll have the privilege of getting to vote an enthusiastic “YES!” on adding this plank to the Democratic Party platform.

It’s also being reported that both President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren will be taking prominent roles at the convention. It’s going to be an exciting week and we’ll have photos, interviews and reports right here at Eclectablog.