DNC Chair ‘expects’ a freedom to marry plank in Democratic Party platform

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, spoke out this week about her support for the freedom to marry, and she also said that she expects the party to include a freedom to marry plank in their official party platform.

Schultz, who represents Florida's 20th district, spoke with Philadelphia Gay News earlier this week on a number of gay issues, including President Obama's support for marriage for same-sex couples and the ways in which the Obama administration has expanded protections for gay and lesbian Americans.

She also addressed concerns about the Democratic Party's official stance on marriage. For months, Freedom to Marry has been working on our Democrats: Say I Do campaign, a petition to party leaders asking them to include a plank in their official platform to stand behind same-sex couples in full support of the freedom to marry. So far, 42,675 supporters have signed the petition. After months of progress on the campaign, it looks likely that the Democratic National Convention in early September will be the first convention where the freedom to marry is officially endorsed by the Democratic party. Wasserman Schultz told PGN:

I expect marriage equality to be a plank in the national party platform. President Obama has declared his support for it ... Now, our platform committee process is a people-powered process. We have a platform committee, and the platform is developed by our Democratic activists and the platform committee members, so they'll go through a process. I hope that marriage equality, and expect that marriage equality, will be part of our platform. 

The anticipation surrounding a potential freedom to marry plank for the national party comes amidst a number of indications that state Democratic party organizations across the country are evolving and progressing on marriage. More than 20 state Democratic party organizations have incorporated pro-marriage positions in their platforms - even states that traditionally swing "red" or "purple," like Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Wasserman Schultz also addressed where she - and significant numbers of Democrats - stand on the four ballot initiatives scheduled for the November election. She said:

We are publicly opposed to all of those that are trying to roll back LGBT rights and we will continue to oppose them. The president has publicly come out against those that would roll those back. 

Freedom to Marry applauds Rep. Wasserman Schultz's stance on marriage and will continue to work with the Democratic party nationally to assure that this influential organization understands why marriage matters before coming to a decision on the proposed party plank. We know that it's time for the party to hold true to their history of standing up for the rights of all Americans by standing up for the freedom to marry for all loving couples.