Margaret Hartmann at NYMag‘s Daily Intel:
… Today Rep. Barney Frank, who sits on the party’s drafting committee, told the Washington Blade that a platform including a gay marriage plank had been unanimously approved by a 15-member panel at a weekend hearing in Minneapolis. An anonymous Democratic National Committee staffer said that the current version includes a rejection of Defense of Marriage Act and positive language on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The platform is still in the draft stage, and may change before it’s presented in September….
The move marks the first time a major party has come out in favor of same-sex marriage, and is certainly significant step toward bringing gay rights into the mainstream. However, it’s possible that like President Obama’s announcement, this will be more of a symbolic victory. Democrats are hoping that once again, announcing their general support for gay marriage will give the party both a morale and a fund-raising boost. There’s no word on whether the final version might include support for a federal law to allow gay marriage, but since President Obama has yet to come out in favor of such a measure, it seems unlikely.
Sausage-making details, from the NYTimes:
… Democratic Party officials had squabbled over the issue in the past. But at a platform-drafting meeting over the weekend in Minneapolis, they approved the first step to amend their platform, placing the amendment on track for adoption. In two weeks, the entire platform committee will vote at a meeting scheduled in Detroit. Then, if approved as expected, it would go before convention delegates in Charlotte, N.C., for final passage in early September.
According to Democrats who were briefed on the vote in Minneapolis, there was no objection when the issue came up. Though the language that was voted on could still be revised, party officials do not anticipate any major obstacles going forward.
What a lovely wedding gift from the party to Rep. Frank (she said in her best Miss Manners voice). And what a contrast this should offer to the shenanigans at the Republican Convention, since I am quite sure the “family values activists” will be inspired to new depths of unhinged ugliness in response. Or as a commentor at Paul Constant’s Stranger blog noted: “The Dems have the plank… now they just need to make the Republicans walk it.”