The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee has released the draft language for its support of both marriage equality and employment non-discrimination protections. Though the party has supported repealing the Defense of Marriage Act in past platforms, this is the first time it has fully endorsed marriage equality:
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.
Similarly, though past platforms have supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the new draft expands the party’s commitment to creating equality, safety, and fairness for the LGBT community:
We know that putting America back to work is job one, and we are committed to ensuring Americans do not face employment discrimination. We support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to ensuring all Americans are treated fairly. This administration hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and we must continue our work to prevent vicious bullying of young people and support LGBT youth. The President’s record, from ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in full cooperation with our military leadership, to passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to ensuring same-sex couples can visit each other in the hospital, reflects Democrats’ belief that all Americans deserve the same chance to pursue happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love.
The Platform Committee will have to approve the draft this weekend, and then convention delegates will have to adopt the platform in Charlotte. The symbolic significance of such bold, explicit support for LGBT equality by a dominant political party cannot be overstated.