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Time for Democrats to Enshrine Marriage Equality in Our Platform

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I'm thrilled to be married and hope that loving couples who wish to make this commitment have the freedom to do so. That is why I have joined thousands of other Americans to co-sign Freedom to Marry's letter urging national Democrats to say "I do" in 2012.

Galvanized by a quest for liberty and justice for all, and emboldened by changing polls and passing laws in New York and Washington State, thousands of Americans support this letter to the Democratic National Platform Committee. It reads as follows:

To the Members of the Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee:

The Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans.

We, the undersigned, believe it is time for the Party to hold true to this record and add to the legacy by taking a stand in support of the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples.

We urge you to affirm the freedom to marry in the Democratic Party by including this plank in the platform discussion of families:

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.

Numerous national polls have shown that a majority of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. And Democrats overwhelmingly support the freedom to marry, with polls showing as much as 70% support. You are uniquely positioned to stand with the majority of Americans, and the super-majority of the party, and help make a real difference for families across the country.

We hope the Drafting Committee will fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Party's proud commitment to liberty, equality, and justice for all.

Thank you for helping to put an end to marriage discrimination in this country.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Marriage equality is a personal one for me because I chaired the California Democratic Party Platform Committee that adopted marriage equality in 2006 just days before my first date with my husband. In April 2006, the California Democratic Party unanimously adopted a platform plank that included our call to "support nondiscrimination and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people in all aspects of their lives." We affirmed our support for the LGBT community in its quest for the right to legal marriage respectful of liberty and justice for all, with the clergy's complete religious freedom to solemnize marriages in accordance with their beliefs. And yet -- though my husband and I were able to marry, our gay friends could not. That is wrong.

Over the ensuing years, Prop 8 passed in California. But a new generation of equality activists was born, organizing at events like the OUTWest Campaign Boot Camp. By 2010 Democrats won a clean sweep in the California elections -- and every statewide candidate supported marriage equality. Contrary to risk-averse punditry, affirming equality did not lose elections.

Since same-sex couples have married, the institution has grown stronger not weaker. No straight marriage torn asunder has proof that a same-sex marriage is to blame. In fact, many of us find that supporting marriage equality for others makes us all the more blissful in our own. I'm celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary this week, and co-signing the Freedom to Marry letter as a small step for others to pursue their own happiness. Join me and urge Democrats to say "I do."

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