Dems support marriage equality in preliminary party platform

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Barney Frank

Support for same-sex marriage is part of the Democratic Party’s preliminary platform, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

The openly gay Frank is a member of the Democrats’ platform drafting committee, which met in Minneapolis over the weekend. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that Frank’s office had confirmed the committee agreed on draft language supporting marriage equality.

If the language is adopted, the proposal would mark the first time a major political party in the United States has ever called for legalizing same-sex marriage.

But before it’s officially adopted, the proposal must be considered by the full Democratic platform committee, which meets in Detroit Aug. 10- 12. If approved there, the endorsement of gay marriage would be put to vote at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September.

Democratic parties at the state level, including in Wisconsin, already have adopted planks calling for marriage equality.

“I was part of a unanimous decision to include (gay marriage),” Frank, who married his longtime partner earlier this month, told the Washington Blade yesterday. The Blade also reported that the Democrats’ preliminary platform includes a rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Presidents are not bound to follow their parties’ platforms, but President Barack Obama announced in May that he supports marriage equality. Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposes it.

Brian Brown, president of the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage, told the Associated Press that his group “will rally supporters of traditional marriage to make sure they realize that the outcome of the presidential election may determine the future of marriage in our country.”