Washington, DC —
The Democratic party will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at the upcoming convention in North Carolina, according to retiring Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank.
Sources within the Party, including Frank, who sits on the Party platform drafting committee, have stated that the language was adopted in a draft after a unanimous vote Sunday night during a national hearing in Minneapolis.
"I was part of a unanimous decision to include it," Frank told the Washington Blade on Monday.
The full platform committee will finalize the platform at a meeting next month in Detroit. Then it will be presented to convention delegates in Charlotte on Sept. 3 for final approval.
"Like Americans from all walks of life, the Democratic party has recognized that committed and loving gay and lesbian couples deserve the right to have their relationships respected as equal under the law," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a released statement. "I believe that one day very soon the platforms of both major parties will include similar language on this issue. There is no more American value than honoring and protecting one's family."
HRC's Legislative Director Allison Herwitt testified before the committee.
"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, who also testified in front of the drafting committee. "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."
Support for marriage equality has risen quickly and consistently over the last decade, with 53 percent of Americans now supporting marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of young voters aged 18-34 support marriage equality and a Public Religion Research Institute poll puts support at 49 percent among younger Republicans (Millenials). 58 percent of all Independent voters support marriage for gays and lesbians, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll.