Following the lead of its standard bearer, the Democratic Party has decided to make legalizing same-sex marriage an official plank of its campaign platform. A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said July 30 that the party’s drafting committee had voted during a weekend meeting in Minneapolis to add the party’s formal support for homosexual marriage. Political observers expected that there will be little opposition to the move, and that delegates will approve the platform during the party’s September convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition to endorsing the legalization of “gay” marriage, the party platform will reaffirm the Democrats’ opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal statute signed into law by Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1996 which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal business.
As reported by The New American, in May President Obama put his personal “struggle” over the issue aside, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to endorse homosexual marriage. A little over a year earlier Obama had ordered his administration’s Justice Department to stop defending DOMA against federal lawsuits.
Homosexual activists stumbled over themselves to applaud the party’s decision. “Like Americans from all walks of life, the Democratic Party has recognized that committed and loving gay and lesbian couples deserve the right to have their relationships respected as equal under the law,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. He predicted that “one day very soon the platforms of both major parties will include similar language. There is no more American value than honoring and protecting one’s family.”
Marc Solomon of the homosexual group Freedom to Marry said that “we are grateful for the Platform Drafting Committee’s unanimous vote to include the freedom to marry in its draft of the Democratic Party platform. As I testified to the Committee on Friday, the Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans. We are proud that the Committee is including language that will ensure the Party is leading the way forward in supporting marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples and their families.”
Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, another homosexual group, called the decision a “historic move by the Democratic Party that places it squarely on the right side of history, alongside President Obama. For the first time, a major U.S. political party has embraced gay and lesbian people as full Americans.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a conservative group battling for traditional marriage, said that the announcement ensures that marriage will be a central issue in the upcoming elections. “We will rally supporters of traditional marriage to make sure they realize that the outcome of the presidential election may determine the future of marriage in our country,” said Brian Brown, the group’s president.
Thomas Peters, another NOM official, told OneNewsNow.com that the Democratic National Committee is reopening an issue that voters in 32 states have already settled by passing state amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. “And one of our big points is that obviously if the Democrats have their way, all of the marriage amendments passed in [those states and] certainly Florida and other swing states are in jeopardy.”
Referring to the Democrats’ upcoming convention in North Carolina, Peters added: “I think it’s particularly ironic that the Democrats are choosing to introduce for the first time the idea that they are corporately behind redefining marriage in a state where all the evidence suggests a majority of Democrats just voted in May to define marriage as a union between a husband and a wife.” North Carolina voters approved their state’s marriage amendment by a 61-percent margin.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Republican strategists predicted the Democratic platform would make life uncomfortable for Democratic candidates in conservative states, such as Sen. Jon Tester, who is seeking re-election in Montana. Tester has said he respects his state’s constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but he has declined to state explicitly his personal beliefs on same-sex marriage.”
Madelyn Schnick, an activist and volunteer with Missouri’s Greene County Democrats, “said the move won’t help the party in her area,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “‘The opinion here is that gay marriage will affect so-called traditional marriage…. It’s an extreme Bible Belt situation, so that does factor into it.’”
Tim Wildmon, president of the conservative American Family Association, confessed to being “a little surprised they would put it in the platform, because there are a lot of Democrats who don’t agree with that, especially in the black community.” He added that “I don’t see how a socially conservative Democrat can stay with the party now.”
Black Christian leaders, still stinging from the NAACP’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, reacted to the Democratic Party’s announcement with disdain and anger. “President Obama has not given us the courtesy of a reply to discuss his support of same-sex marriage, and is taking the black vote for granted,” said the Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors. He said that his group would urge black voters to “withdraw their support” for Obama. “We will see that the black community is informed that the president is taking them for granted while pandering to the gay community,” said Owens.
The Family Research Council (FRC), which has been a leader in the fight for traditional marriage over the past 10 years, released a statement saying that the Democratic Party’s decision to make same-sex marriage a major plank in its platform would place it at a distinct disadvantage in the November elections. FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg said that if, in the upcoming election, Obama were to lose in the 32 states that have reaffirmed their commitment to traditional marriage, “he would face an electoral debacle.” Sprigg noted that “while opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ may have become politically incorrect in the Democratic Party at the national level, there are many Democratic members of Congress, and office-holders further down the ticket, who live in states and districts where it will be a serious disadvantage to be identified with ‘the gay marriage party.’ ”
Sprigg also sent out a challenge to expected Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who, many GOP members fear, may not be the dependable candidate he insists he is. “Gov. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, should not shy away from making a clear distinction with President Obama and the Democrats on this issue,” challenged Sprigg.
He added: “We expect that the Republican Party will maintain its strong support for one-man-one-woman marriage in their platform. The current Republican platform reflects the voters in 32 states who have voted to preserve marriage. The American people have done so because of their deep appreciation for the unique and irreplaceable benefits that marriage between a man and a woman gives to children and society.”