Freedom to Marry Applauds Democratic Party’s Endorsement of Marriage in National Platform

9/4/2012

For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Nicole Collins Bronzan
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
nicole@freedomtomarry.org
646-375-2044


Charlotte, NC – Freedom to Marry applauded the Democratic Party’s endorsement of same-sex couples’ freedom to marry in the official 2012 National Party Platform, which delegates unanimously adopted today. The campaign to win marriage nationwide also praised President Obama for his moral leadership in speaking out in support of the freedom to marry this spring, helping set the stage for the party's strong commitment today.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said: “Today the Democratic Party stood up for family values and the value of all families by including a freedom to marry plank in its official platform. The party’s embrace of the freedom to marry matches the sentiment of the American people. They know that that marriage matters, that gay and non-gay loving and committed couples deserve respect, and that strengthening families is part of how we build a stronger country for all.”

Freedom to Marry led the call for enactment of a marriage plank in the party platform, launching its Democrats: Say I Do campaign in February with an online petition and a call to Democratic party leaders, elected officials, activists, and voters to make the case to the Platform Drafting Committee in support of the freedom to marry plank. The chair of this year’s Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; four former chairs of the national Democratic Party; 22 Democratic senators; Caroline Kennedy and nine other co-chairs of President Obama’s reelection campaign; and more than 40,000 Americans joined Freedom to Marry’s call for inclusion of a freedom to marry plank in the platform. Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry’s National Campaign Director, testified before the drafting committee in support of a freedom to marry plank in July.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the first senator to join Freedom to Marry’s Democrats: Say, I Do campaign, said, "Democrats have long been guardians of justice and equality, and today, we showed Americans that hasn't changed.” Shaheen, who is also a co-chair of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, added, “While Freedom to Marry has led the charge in this important cause, it's still up to all of us to do our part. I'm so proud to stand with my party today and affirm the importance of all families, at last."

Villaraigosa, also a chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, said, “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to hold the gavel at this historic convention. For the first time in history, a major party platform recognizes every American's freedom to marry the person they love as a fundamental right. This is a reflection of our values as a party and what a growing majority of Americans in this country believe.”

The plank adopted today, titled “Freedom to Marry," calls for “equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law” for all families and explicitly supports “marriage equality." It includes the freedom for religious entities to decide how to administer marriage, opposes federal and state constitutional amendments that deny marriage to same-sex couples, and advocates for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies legally married same-sex couples thousands of federal protections.

In addition to Shaheen and Villaraigosa, Freedom to Marry’s Senior Adviser, Sean Eldridge, is attending the Democratic National Convention and is available for interviews.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.