California Dems rally for marriage equality plank

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Speaker_Nancy_Pelosi

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. - PHOTO: File

Democratic delegates from California are urging the committee drafting a proposed national party platform to include a marriage equality plank.

Thirty delegates in the state, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, back a plank supporting same-sex marriage.

The delegates are making their point in a letter to the platform drafting committee that reads, “The Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans. We, the undersigned, believe it is time for the Party to hold true for this record and add to the legacy by taking a stand in support of the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples.”

For much of 2012, gay rights advocates have been encouraging the party to include a marriage equality plank in the platform with the Democrats Say I Do campaign.

In February, a coalition of mayors – most of them Democrats – launched a marriage equality effort.

Since then, numerous Democratic politicians have endorsed marriage equality, the most prominent being the president, whose campaign reiterated his support for gay marriage on July 19.

Also, more than 20 state Democratic organizations, including Wisconsin's, have incorporated gay marriage positions in their platforms.

The Democratic National Committee announced earlier this week that a national hearing on proposals for the platform is set for July 27-29 in Minneapolis.

The DNC and Obama for America, in a news release, also announced details of the platform process, which culminates with adoption of the document at the national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

A DNC release said the platform “outlines Democratic priorities and highlights the President’s vision for the middle class and his efforts to create an economy that’s built to last.”

Platform proposals can be submitted at www.democrats.org/platform until 5 p.m. EST on July 20.

Then the platform drafting committee will hold the hearing in Minnesota.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland chairs the committee, which includes former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho, Tino Cuellar, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Donna Harris-Aikens, Colin Kahl, Nancy Keenan, Heather Kendall Miller, Thea Lee, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, Susan Ness, Mayor Michael Nutter, Carlos Odio, former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler and Christen Young. 

Ex-officio members include Gov. Deval Patrick, DNC secretary Alice Germond, and Tom Wheeler.

The full platform committee will vote on a proposal Aug. 10-12 in Detroit.

On the Web: www.democrats.org/platform.

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