The Democratic National Convention Platform Committee has officially approved a final marriage equality plank titled, “Freedom to Marry.” The announcement comes on the heels of a unanimous decision to publicly support marriage equality next month at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
“Today’s vote to include language supporting the freedom to marry in the Democratic Party’s National Platform is a victory for fairness and families, and a historic moment long in the making,” Freedom to Marry Founder and President Evan Wolfson said in a release. “Support for the freedom to marry puts the party on the right side of history, and in the solid mainstream of the majority of the American people.”
In the East Room on July 15, 2012 President Obama told his audience, “For every partner or spouse denied the chance to comfort a loved one in the hospital, to be by their side at their greatest hour of need, we said, enough. Hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid – and that is most of them – now have to treat LGBT patients just like any other patient. ”
Earlier this week, the draft language of the plank was released to BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner.
The marriage equality plank reads: 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.
Additionally, the non-discrimination plank reads: 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.
Upon news that the draft Democratic platform contains strong support for marriage equality, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“Marriage equality has quickly become a mainstream American value and it’s a sign of the times that the Democratic Party has included language affirming the ability of gays and lesbians to marry in its draft platform. We encourage the Platform Committee and the delegates to the convention to adopt this strong statement that all loving and committed American families deserve equal treatment.”
The DNCC is a not-for-profit organization responsible for planning and executing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the week of September 3, 2012.
The DNCC and Obama for America announced Tuesday that former President Jimmy Carter will address the 2012 Democratic National Convention by video. President Carter’s message, including unique insights about President Obama as a global leader, will be played at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday, September 4, in prime time.
“President Carter is one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of our time and a champion of democracy around the globe,” said 2012 Democratic National Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. “A lifelong champion of human rights and investments in education and energy to spur economic development, President Carter will provide unique insight into President Obama’s ability to move our country forward and why we need his vision and leadership for a second term. President Obama is fighting for the next steps in our nation’s economic recovery, to reclaim America’s promise on behalf of hard-workers, the strivers, the dreamers, who ask only for a fair shot and a fair shake.”
“Rosalynn and I regret that we will be unable to be at the Democratic Convention this year in Charlotte. However, we remain steadfast in our support for President Obama and the progress he will make in the next four years,” President Carter said.
The DNCC has previously announced that First Lady Michelle Obama and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, they keynote speaker, will address the convention on its opening night, Tuesday, September 4, at Time Warner Cable Arena. Former President Bill Clinton and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will deliver speeches on the second night, Wednesday, September 5, at the arena. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will deliver their acceptance speeches on the final night of the convention, Thursday, September 6, at Bank of America Stadium.