Televangelist Pat Robertson said on CBN's "The 700 Club" Tuesday that the Democratic Party seems to have a political "death wish" in seeking to add gay marriage to its platform.
"Two percent of the population are homosexuals. One percent of the population lesbians. That is a tiny group. And every time this initiative has been brought to the ballot where the people have a chance to vote, they vote overwhelmingly in favor of traditional marriage," said Robertson.
"For the Democrats to go out on that limb, it just seems like to me that they are further alienating themselves from the mainstream of America. If that's what they want to do, fine, but it will mean the death knell of their party, it seems like to me, and of course that's what they're doing but maybe they have a death wish."
Robertson, 82, was commenting on news reports on Monday that said the Democratic National Committee will include gay marriage as part of the party platform when the full committee meets Aug. 10. A 15-member drafting committee reportedly unanimously passed the language, and it will now head to the full platform committee.
On the same day as Robertson's comment, the Pew Research Center released a poll that found almost two out of three Democrats (65 percent) support same-sex marriage – up 15 percentage point since 2008. Four years ago, Democrats were split down the middle on the issue. And eight years ago, just 40 percent said they supported gay marriage.
Yet despite increases in support for gay marriage among Democrats and the general population (48 percent of respondents support gay marriage, a nine percentage point increase from 2008), 31 states have passed a constitutional marriage amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage and sometimes also same-sex civil unions. Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in six states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. The District of Columbia also recognizes gay marriage.
Pat Robertson, who is founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, unsuccessfully campaigned to be the Republican nominee for president in 1988. He is known to make controversial remarks, including telling a viewer of "The 700 Club" that his friend should divorce his wife who has Alzheimer's and start over, and that the government should weaken marijuana laws.