Democratic Convention Chair and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is the latest in a growing list of Democrats to endorse marriage equality in the 2012 Democratic platform. During a Politico Playbook forum this morning, Villaraigosa — a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage — argued that extending marriage equality to gays and lesbians is “basic to who we are” and intergal to “family values.” “We all ought to be able to have a family, to marry if you want to and I don’t think the government should be in that business of denying people the fundamental right to marry,” he explained:
MIKE ALLEN: Do you think that the Democratic national platform should have a marriage equality plank?
VILLARAIGOSA: I do…We want to make this the most accessible convention possible. This just isn’t going to be open to a small group of people. On two of the four days there will be an opportunity for a much larger representation of people from all over the country to participate in our convention. The delegates will make the decision on the platform, but I do support it and certainly have for a long time.
At least 22 senators and seven co-chairs of President Obama’s re-election bid have indicated their support for including marriage equality in the platform, as part of Freedom To Marry’s Democrats: Say I Do campaign. Interestingly, Villaraigosa was far more circumspect about the effort last month, telling reporters on a conference call that while he backs marriage equality, that “it’s not for me to dictate” whether that position is part of the party’s official platform. (HT: Michael Lavers)
The Obama campaign responded to Villaraigosa’s endorsement, but did not specifically endorse the campaign, saying only that there is a “process” to drafting the platform.