The US Democrat party look all set to finally embrace same-sex marriage as part of their party platform. Such a move would signify a large shift from the current policy but would be more in line with the beliefs and ideals of President Obama and is a major step forward in American politics.
Democratic Party officials have argued over the contentious issue for quite some time, however at a platform-drafting meeting held in Minneapolis last weekend, they approved the first step to amend their platform, placing the amendment on track for adoption. In two weeks time, the entire platform committee will put it to a vote. Then, if approved as many expect it to be, it will then go before convention delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a final passage in early September.
According to insiders who were briefed on the vote in Minneapolis, there were no objections at all when the issue came up and party officials do not anticipate any major obstacles going forward.
The language used in the platform is crucial and over the last weekend it was clear, they reiterated the party’s disapproval of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriage.
The Democratic Party’s move comes more than two months after President Obama personally backed the rights of same-sex couples to get married. At the time he said his views on the issue were ‘evolving’ as he had previously not supported equal marriage laws. However he is still the only sitting President to publicly support marriage equality and whilst his vocal support carry no legal weight, they are a significant move forward to making a fairer society for all.
It seems like that the Democrats will become the first major party in American politics bring support of same-sex / equal marriage to its platform and could make it a vital key issue of the election. It is also a move welcomed by the vast majority of both gay and human rights activists and political commentators, “Like Americans from all walks of life, the Democratic Party has recognized that committed and loving gay and lesbian couples deserve the right to have their relationships respected as equal under the law,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “I believe that one day very soon the platforms of both major parties will include similar language on this issue.”
The current Democratic Party platform was drafted four years ago, when Mr. Obama was first running for president and called for “full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation,” and for “equal responsibility, benefits and protections.” However the platform stopped short of endorsing same-sex marriages, time though, have changed and changed rather dramatically. There are movements and political will in many countries throughout the world for the legalisation of same sex marriage, including some unlikely nations such as Vietnam.
Of course, even with a changing society and a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, the issue still remains a difficult one for some older and more traditional members of the Democrat party, especially those in staunchly republican areas of the country, who seek to keep the status quo. Fearing that a more advanced move toward inclusion will alienate the more conservative hard-core Christian voters.