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Gay Marriage Plank Will Be In Democratic Party Platform At Convention

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WASHINGTON -- A Democratic Party source confirmed to The Huffington Post that the party will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at the upcoming convention.

The news, first reported by the Washington Blade, represents a historic and phenomenal win for LGBT rights groups, which could hardly have envisioned progress being made so quickly on this front.

The Democratic source relayed that officials unanimously agreed at a recent platform drafting committee meeting in Minneapolis to adopt language endorsing same-sex marriage. Several steps must be taken before the language is codified. A full platform committee will consider the draft in a meeting in Detroit in two weeks. It will then go to the convention delegates in Charlotte for final approval. But the deal is more or less final.

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), a member of the drafting committee who recently married his longtime partner, told the Advocate that the decision was reached without dissent.

"The fact is, by every action that should be taken, the Democrats in Washington have repudiated DOMA," he said, referring to the 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.

According to the Blade, the "language in the platform approved on Sunday not only backs marriage equality, but also rejects DOMA and has positive language with regard to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The exact wording of the language wasn’t immediately available."

The Democratic National Committee had hesitated to push for same-sex marriage as a platform plank as recently as this March, with LGBT sources telling The Huffington Post that they were getting pushback from party officials. But that all changed when President Barack Obama, prompted by remarks from Vice President Joe Biden, came out in favor of marriage equality.

"We are grateful for the Platform Drafting Committee’s unanimous vote to include the freedom to marry in its draft of the Democratic Party platform," said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director of Freedom to Marry. "As I testified to the Committee on Friday, the Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans. We are proud that the Committee is including language that will ensure the Party is leading the way forward in supporting marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples and their families."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest demurred when asked Monday afternoon about Obama's reaction to gay marriage being included in the party platform, directing all questions to the DNC.

Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.

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