NH Senator Shaheen Announces Support for Marriage Plank in Democratic Platform


February 28, 2012

Press Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry

NEW YORK – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced she is joining Freedom to Marry in urging the Democratic Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the 2012 Party Platform.  Freedom to Marry drafted and introduced the plank as part of its Democrats: Say I Do campaign, launched February 13.

"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."

New Hampshire ended the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage in January 2010. Since then nearly 2,000 same-sex couples have married in the state, according to figures reported yesterday.

“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,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry.  “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, co-chairing John Kerry’s 2004 campaign and, most recently, President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.  

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.


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.