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Eleven State Democratic Party Chairs Back Proposed Marriage Equality Platform Plank

by Michael K. Lavers
National News Editor
Thursday May 3, 2012

Eleven state Democratic Party chairs on Thursday announced their support of a proposal that would add marriage for same-sex couples to their party's 2012 platform.

California Democratic Party Chair John Burton, Kansas Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon, Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh, Minnesota Democratic Party Chair Ken Martin, New Jersey Democratic Party Chair Jon Wisniewski, New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs, Oregon Democratic Party Chair Meredith Wood Smith, Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie, Vermont Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson, Washington Party Chair Dwight Pelz and Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate announced their support of the proposed platform plank in a Freedom to Marry press release.

"Ensuring that all Americans are free to marry whomever they love will move our nation one step closer to becoming a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all," said Walsh. "As Democrats, we know that the fight for equality is never easy, but it is always worthwhile."

"These state chairs represent diverse states and a diverse range of constituents, including the biggest states in America from coast to coast, critical swing state voters in Wisconsin, and voters combating a cruel proposed antigay constitutional amendment in Minnesota," added Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson. "But whether from red, blue, or purple states, these party leaders know that including the freedom to marry in the 2012 national Democratic platform is not just the right thing to do, it's the right thing politically."

These party chairs join former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) 22 U.S. senators, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-Nev.) and other members of Congress who have backed the proposal.

The White House announced in Feb. 2011 that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. The Obama administration has also backed a DOMA repeal bill, but the president has faced increased criticism from a growing number of LGBT activists in recent months over his failure to publicly endorse marriage for same-sex couples.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.


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