Freedom to Marry Applauds YDA Director’s Endorsement of Marriage Plank in 2012 Platform


Press Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin 
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry

WASHINGTON – Today, Emily Tisch Sussman, Executive Director of the Young Democrats of America, joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and more than 13,000 voters around the nation in endorsing language proposed by Freedom to Marry as part of its Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling for inclusion of a freedom to marry plank in the 2012 Party Platform.  The Young Democrats of America is the largest youth-led, national, partisan political organization in the country, with more than 1,500 local chapters and more than 150,000 members.

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, praised Sussman’s announcement in the following statement:

“Young people overwhelmingly support the freedom to marry, and rightly see it as a defining test of an elected official’s character and commitment to equal justice under law that is increasingly important when they choose which candidates they will get behind.  As she takes the helm of the nation’s largest Democratic youth-led organization, Emily has had the opportunity to speak with the Democratic leaders of tomorrow and knows they are clamoring for the Democratic leaders of today to speak out forthrightly so that loving, committed gay and lesbian couples can share in the freedom to marry.”

Below is Freedom to Marry’s proposed plank language:

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.

Last year, working with President Obama’s and George W. Bush’s pollsters, Freedom to Marry highlighted the rapid growth of younger voters’ support of the freedom to marry with an analysis finding that voters under the age of 40 support the freedom to marry by almost 70%—and support it intensely, with 30% strongly in favor.  The pollsters’ joint memo also notes that voters under 40 years of age currently represent 36% of the electorate. By the 2016 election they will represent roughly 47%, and nearly 57% by 2020.  Independents also strongly support the freedom to marry with 56% support.

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.