On Monday, a D.C.-based LGBT*-focused newspaper, the Washington Blade, reported that the Democratic Party platform drafting committee has unanimously voted to include a marriage equality plank in the party’s platform:
“Retiring gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who sits on the committee, told the Washington Blade on Monday that the 15-member panel unanimously backed the inclusion of a marriage equality plank after a national hearing over the weekend in Minneapolis, in which several witnesses testified in favor of such language.
“A Democratic National Committee staffer, who is familiar with the process and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the language in the platform approved on Sunday not only backs marriage equality, but also rejects DOMA and has positive language with regard to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The exact wording of the language wasn’t immediately available.”
If early reports are true, then a big bravo! for the Democratic Party. The official adoption of a marriage equality position by the Dems does little to alter the party’s ideological stance, but it might be just what the president’s party needs to reinvigorate his moderate-to-progressive base.
As an April study conducted by the Pew Research Center showed, the general public has gone from opposing same-sex marriage rights just a decade ago to supporting the right of gays and lesbians to marry today. The same study also showed that support for marriage equality increases significantly with each succeeding generation — only 30 percent of people born before 1945 favor same-sex marriage, while a full 63 percent of Millennials (people born after 1980) favor same-sex marriage.
Obama and the Dems are also targeting the brands of American they need to target if they’re going to beat Romney and a super-PAC-supercharged GOP. Democrats and independents favor marriage equality by 59 percent and 52 percent, respectively, while self-proclaimed liberals and moderates favor the same by 68 percent and 56 percent, respectively.
Speaking of Latinos, specifically, another April poll — this one released by the National Council of La Raza — revealed that Latinos are slightly more tolerant of the LGBT* community and edge out the general public in their support for marriage equality. Tolerance for the LGBT* community and support for same-sex marriage were both shown to increase as a Latino’s level of acculturation increased, suggesting that as more Latinos become accustomed to American life, the Latino community will grow increasingly pro-LGBT*.
Sure, the move is likely to turn off many evangelical Christians and some blacks, groups which are traditionally less accepting of the LGBT* community. Still, the loss should be minimal, considering the president outed himself in May as a support of marriage equality. Whoever Obama and the Dems were gonna lose over same-sex marriage rights they already lost in May.
Despite any impending fuss, the move is a historic one. Never before has a major political party included a marriage equality plank in its platform.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Presently, most Americans — including women, students, young people, Latinos and even Catholics — support marriage equality. The movement for same-sex marriage rights is growing by the day.
“Forward,” reads Obama’s reelection slogan, and marriage equality being the future of America, “Forward” is exactly where Obama and the Dems seem intent on leading the country.