Metro Weekly

UPDATED: DNC Marriage-Equality Platform Language Revealed

The language supporting marriage equality agreed upon by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee was revealed earlier today.

BuzzFeed reports that the draft reads as follows:

We 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.

Although this language may be tweaked when the Platform Committee considers the plank for approval at a meeting this weekend in Detroit, it appears certain the Democratic Party will officially endorse marriage equality.

Responding to the wording of the platform plank, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin prasied the strong language present in the platform. 

“Marriage equality has quickly become a mainstream American value and it’s a sign of the times that the Democratic Party has included language affirming the ability of gays and lesbians to marry in its draft platform,” Griffin said in a statement. “We encourage the Platform Committee and the delegates to the convention to adopt this strong statement that all loving and committed American families deserve equal treatment.”

Although historic in nature, as Metro Weekly reported earlier today the platform plank, which will be voted on by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. next month, may have limited broader impact.

It remains highly unlikely there will be any federal campaign for marriage equality and that marriage laws, which have almost always been left up to the states, will continue to be debated at the local level.

According to out gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a federal right to marry would only come if the Supreme Court were to rule that a state’s refusal to grant same-sex couples the right to marry violates the constitution.

UPDATE @ SAT 1:30P: At a meeting in Detroit on Saturday, the Democratic Platform Committee unanimously approved language including a marriage equality plank in the party’s national platform. According to Freedom to Marry, the language supporting marriage equality remained intact.

In a statement, Freedom to Marry founder and president, Evan Wolfson, said the unanimous vote puts the Democratic Party on the “right side of history.”

“Today’s vote to include language supporting the freedom to marry in the Democratic Party’s National Platform is a victory for fairness and families, and a historic moment long in the making,” Wolfson said.

The party platform now heads to Charlotte, N.C. for final ratification at the Democratic National Convention next month.

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.