NH Senator Shaheen announces support for marriage plank in Democratic Platform

Our "Democrats: Say I Do" campaign received another big endorsement this morning: US Senator Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire! Sen. Shaheen adds her powerful voice in the US Senate to the growing number of Americans and elected officials calling on the Democratic Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the 2012 Party Platform.  
"I'm proud to join Freedom to Marry’s ‘Democrats: Say, I Do’ campaign,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  “Along with the more than 20,000 Americans who have already signed the online petition, I call on the Democratic Platform Committee to affirm the freedom to marry in our party's national convention platform this September.  Any Democratic statement of core beliefs about the importance of families must include all our families, gay and straight.  Our party has a long tradition of leading the charge on important questions of justice.  Now is the time for the Democratic Party to stand up for the rights of same-sex couples and their families."
The freedom to marry has been law in New Hampshire since 2010 and since then nearly 2,000 same-sex couples have legally wed. The Legislature is currently considering HB 437, legislation that would overturn the freedom to marry. Senator Shaheen has been clear in her opposition to the bill and any attempt to repeal New Hampshire's marriage law.

Our National Campaign Director Marc Solomon released this statement today, thanking Senator Shaheen for her support: 
“Senator Shaheen knows firsthand why marriage matters, having seen the outpouring of joy among her constituents since gay and lesbian couples began to share in the freedom to marry in New Hampshire. Today, a majority of Americans and a super-majority of Granite Staters back marriage for gay and lesbian couples and want to see their representatives on record with their support. Senator Shaheen has been a long-time, stalwart supporter of the freedom to marry, and we applaud her leadership in endorsing this crucial plank in the Democratic Party’s platform.”

Shaheen, the first woman in history ever to be elected as a Governor and a U.S. Senator, has played a key role in national Democratic politics, serving as the co-chair of John Kerry’s 2004 campaign. And as Amanda Terkel points out in her Huffington Post piece this morning, Shaheen is one of the national co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, making her endorsement of the marriage plank all the more significant. 

Below is Freedom to Marry’s proposed plank language for the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform:

The Democratic Party supports the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibility, and protection 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.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Young Democrats of America Executive Director Emily Sussman, and the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have all endorsed the proposed plank since the campaign’s launch. To date, more than 24,000 Americans have signed Freedom to Marry’s open petition.
Click here to sign the petition.