Montana Senator Max Baucus applauds state Democrats’ freedom to marry plank

Last week, the Montana Democratic Party unanimously voted to approve a plank in its official party platform that unequivocally supports the freedom to marry for all couples. Their plank reads, "All adults should have the right to legally marry another adult of their choice regardless of sex or gender. We believe same-sex couples should have the same legal benefits, protections and responsibilities granted to all those who marry."

Shortly after their decision, Senator Max Baucus from Montana applauded the plank, tweeting his support and releasing a statement endorsing marriage for all couples. 

He tweeted, "Very proud of @MTDems' vocal support for marriage equality over the weekend," and in the statement, he said:

I don't believe the federal government should be getting involved in people's private lives. Adults should be free to choose who they spend their lives with a committed relationship.

Baucus, who is 70 years old and won his Senate seat in 1978, is the fifth longest-serving U.S. Senator ever in office. His new support for marriage is a shift from his previous stance - in 1996, he voted to approve the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. 

The state Democratic Party's decision also represents a large step forward for marriage in Montana. The language of the plank supports the repeal of Section 7, Article 13 of the Montana Constitution, the amendment passed in 2004 to ban the state government from recognizing or performing marriages between same-sex couples. 

Baucus' endorsement is another bit of evidence of the growing majority support for marriage for all couples in the United States. His encouragement of the state Democratic party's platform is a significant reaffirmation that people who formerly shouldered uncertain or negative feelings about the freedom to marry are reconsidering the issue and realizing that same-sex couples deserve to have their relationships recognized in the same way that different-sex relationships are. Marriage, these former opponents are recognizing in greater numbers than ever, is the only way to truly protect all couples and their families.