House Democratic Leader Pelosi Endorses Freedom to Marry Plank in 2012 Platform

2/15/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2012

House Democratic Leader Pelosi Endorses Freedom to Marry Plank in 2012 Platform
Democratic Leader Announcement in Response to Freedom to Marry's Democrats: Say I Do Campaign

Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry
646-430-3925
angela@freedomtomarry.org
 
WASHINGTON -- Just two days after Freedom to Marry announced its Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling on the national Democratic Party to include a plank supporting gay and lesbian couples’ freedom to marry in the party’s 2012 platform, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Freedom to Marry's proposed plank in an exclusive to Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner.

The Metro Weekly article quotes Democratic Leader Pelosi's spokesman, Drew Hammill, as saying "Leader Pelosi supports this language."

Hailing the strong boost from the party leader, Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson said:

"Freedom to Marry is proud to have Leader Pelosi joining our call to put the Democratic Party squarely on record in support of the freedom to marry as part of the national platform.  A strong majority of Democrats and Independents support the freedom to marry, and standing up for all families is not just the right thing to do morally, it's also right to do politically.  I hope more people will quickly join Leader Pelosi by signing Freedom to Marry's Democrats: Say I Do petition so together we can get the party, and the country, where the majority of Americans already are."

In the two days since launching the campaign, Freedom to Marry's petition has garnered nearly 10,000 signatories from across the country.

From now through the September convention, Freedom to Marry will organize to secure inclusion of a freedom to marry plank in the party platform.  Freedom to Marry’s Democrats: Say I Do campaign will enlist 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.  As the Committee holds field hearings and other mechanisms for public participation, Freedom to Marry will mobilize committed same-sex couples, both married and those unable to marry, as well as family members, friends, and allies, to make the case.  Elected officials such as Freedom to Marry’s Mayors for the Freedom to Marry will join business and labor leaders and others in talking about why marriage matters.  And to ensure that all Americans can be heard, Freedom to Marry has launched an online petition that people can sign, urging the party to include the plank in its national platform, which has nearly 10,000 signatures.
 
The proposed language for the plank builds on previous, less explicit planks endorsed over the past two presidential election cycles, and states:

“We support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibilities, and protections 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.” 

Public opinion data from 2011 shows that 69 percent of Democrats support the freedom to marry, as well as 59 percent of Independents (Gallup, May 5-8).  A National Journal Political Insiders Poll conducted in July 2011 showed that 84% of Democratic party professionals believe their party should embrace marriage.  Multiple states have already included planks in support of marriage in their state platforms.

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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.