(Photo: Reuters/Tim Shaffer)
Sources with ties to the Democratic National Committee have confirmed to news sources that the party will include gay marriage as part of its platform when the full committee meets on August 10 in Detroit.
It will be the first time in history that either the Democratic or Republican Party has supported anything other than the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. The historic news was first reported by the Washington Blade and confirmed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who recently wed his same-sex partner.
A 15-member drafting committee unanimously passed the language and it will now head to the full platform committee. The issue has been debated by Democrats in prior platform committee meetings. However, since President Obama came out in support of the issue in late May, it has become less controversial within Democratic circles.
"I don't think that we had any issues that were controversial," an unidentified committee member told Politico on Monday. "I think we were pretty much in sync and in agreement with where we ended up."
Prior to the meeting of the drafting committee, a document containing the proposed language started circulating among committee members that read:
"We support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law, including the freedom to marry. Government has no business putting barriers in the path of people seeking to care for their family members, particularly in challenging economic times. We support the Respect for Marriage Act and the overturning of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and oppose discriminatory constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny the freedom to marry to loving and committed same-sex couples."
How or if the language was amended or altered is not known at this time. "We've not seen specific language at this point," said Zeke Stokes of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, who put forth a witness who testified in favor of including language supporting the issue.
But not everyone believes that formal acceptance of gay marriage by the Democratic Party will help the party's candidates, especially those running in moderate or conservative states and districts.
"I think it's going to put a lot of Democratic candidates in a difficult position," Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told The Christian Post. "You've got to ask yourself if you're running under the Democratic label in say Missouri, Ohio or Florida, 'Is this what the majority of my constituents believe marriage should look like?' and 'Is this what I believe as an elected representative?'"
Reed also highlighted the difference between some in the Democratic Party publicly supporting gay marriage versus the president and the party officially embracing the stance.
"President Obama has taken a position that not only distances himself from people of faith, but also from Democrats who oppose same-sex marriage. I don't think the majority of swing state voters will feel the same way," said Reed.