House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is backing a push by the pro-LGBT rights organization Freedom to Marry to include marriage equality in the 2012 Democratic Party platform, Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly reported on Wednesday.
This week, Freedom to Marry launched the "Democrats: Say I Do" campaign to promote the drive to get Democrats to include a pro-gay marriage segment in their platform, which will officially be ratified at the party's national convention in September. The language reads:
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.
"Leader Pelosi supports this language," spokesperson Drew Hammill told Metro Weekly.
Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson later told Metro Weekly that he was happy to have Pelosi's backing.
"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 wide majority of Democrats and Independents support the freedom to marry, and standing up for all families is not just the right thing to do, it's the right to do politically," he said. "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."
While recent polls have shown a rapid increase in national support for same-sex marriage rights, especially among Democrats, the party's latest platform in 2008 gave rather vague backing on the issue. "We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us," it read, without any specific mention of marriage equality.
And the issue of same-sex marriage continues to be a complex one for President Barack Obama. He hasn't come out in support of marriage equality, but the president continues to "evolve" on the issue, as he has been doing since campaigning for 2008 election. He has endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act -- which would repeal DOMA -- and frequently suggests to his gay supporters that there is more work to be done to ensure equal rights.
Earlier this year, Pelosi also urged Obama to clarify his stance and "just say he supports equality in marriage."