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22 U.S. senators call for marriage equality plank in Democratic platform

Washington Blade Exclusive
CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Friday, March 2, 2012

A group of U.S. senators is joining the wave of LGBT rights supporters calling for an endorsement of marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform.

Michael Key, Washington Blade

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is among the U.S. senators backing the inclusion of marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform.

The Washington Blade received statements from the offices of 22 Democratic senators — including Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — expressing support for including a marriage equality plank in the Democratic Party platform. The Blade solicited statements from all 53 Democratic senators and will update this article as more senators respond.

The senators follow the lead of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who on Tuesday became the first U.S. senator this year to get behind the idea of including same-sex marriage in the Democratic Party platform. Shaheen, who’s also a co-chair of President Obama’s national campaign committee, said she backs a plank in support of marriage equality proposed by the LGBT organization Freedom to Marry.

In addition to calling for an inclusion of marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform, the language also backs overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and passing DOMA repeal legislation known as the Respect for Marriage Act in addition to opposing state constitutional amendments aimed at blocking gay couples from marriage rights.

The 22 senators are Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

The platform committee is set to discuss and agree upon language in the Democratic Party platform when it gathers for the Democratic National Convention Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. Officials with Democratic National Committee have declined to comment on whether the platform will be “marriage-equality inclusive.“

A number of senators issued statements to the Blade saying they want marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform without offering an explicit endorsement of language as proposed by Freedom to Marry:

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

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21 more reader comments:

  1. great

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:36pm
  2. Hells yeah

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:36pm
  3. Thank you Jesus and all of my LGBT brothers and sisters in arms!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:37pm
  4. They should call for an “across the board” approval for all states!!! We should just keep pounding into their skulls that WE VOTE TOO!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:38pm
  5. I thank God that I am Democrat!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:40pm
  6. I thank Clod

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:43pm
  7. not surprised all the senators come from liberal states

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:49pm
  8. DOG, I’m dyslectic!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:49pm
  9. I miss my Weekly Reader…. sigh… so long ago!!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:51pm
  10. I is a great idea, yet we need to get ready for polorization like we never seen. There are states that a gay person can’t even show their face without getting bashed.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:58pm
  11. OMG Chuck! I had completely forgotten about the Weekly Reader! It’s over fifty years since I’ve seen one. Thanks for the memory! And good on the Democrats.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 1:05pm
  12. I completely support this. My son and his partner want to finish college, get married and either adopt children or go through a surrogate. But I want them to have the right to a healthy happy family life just like everyone else.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 1:49pm
  13. Not surprised all the liberal States have cool Senators. Also not surprised all the conservative States don’t have Democratic Senators.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:07pm
  14. They pay taxes and have rights they should be happy also

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:30pm
  15. WE ARE THE ONES. All the world will come to know this . we will over come.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:35pm
  16. Just let people be people and accept them as they are.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 3:55pm
  17. I am all for full equality and love that 20 senators are too.

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 4:42pm
  18. Jeanne Shaheen is AWESOME!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 7:51pm
  19. Waiting for Obama’s reaction!

    Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 8:15pm
  20. The Mitt Romney who ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 promised voters in Massachusetts that he’d be a stronger advocate for LGBT rights than Senator Kennedy.
    And in 2002, while running for governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s campaign passed out fliers for Pride Weekend, saying “All citizens deserve equal rights regardless of their sexual preference.”
    On January 9, 2012 Mitt Romney’s current campaign actually disavowed that 2002 flier. If he is the Republican nominee, we can expect him to suddenly try and be best friends with LGBT voters again. Mitt’s going to try to be whoever he thinks he needs to be to get elected. Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up! All I see is an empty suit.

    Posted on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 9:57am
  21. I wonder what they will say when they face God at the Judgement Day

    Posted on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 2:40pm