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Democrats vote to adopt party platform endorsing ‘freedom to marry’

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Democratic Party on Tuesday voted to support the freedom to marry as an official plank in the Party’s platform, putting the party on record as the first major political party in U.S. history in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Official language of the platform, released Monday evening, also calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), supports the Employment Non- Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and protections for LGBT bi-national couples threatened with deportation.

Freedom to Marry. 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.

“I will never forget this moment. Today is the day our Party and our President said what we have been saying for years – everyone deserves the freedom to marry and we will not deny that right to loving and committed same-sex couples. It’s now our job to get out there and make that ideal a reality,” said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats.

In May, President Obama declared his support for marriage equality for gays and lesbians, becoming the first sitting president to do so.

“Like the marriage plank in the Democratic platform, the fact that the President is on the right side of history will help more Americans rise to fairness, even as Freedom to Marry presses for more wins in November battleground states such as Maine, Minnesota, Washington, and Maryland,” said Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of the advocacy group, Freedom to Marry.

The Democratic platform stands in sharp contrast to the Republican blueprint that the GOP adopted at its convention in Tampa, Fla., last week. The Republican plan supports a federal, constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

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