Every four years, the Democratic National Convention adopts a new national platform which is an official statement of the Democratic Party’s position on a variety of issues. The Platform Committee is responsible for drafting and recommending a proposed national platform to the Democratic National Convention for approval by the delegates.
This year the met in Detroit, Michigan. The 15-member Platform Committee was chaired by Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker and Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (Ret.). At the meeting on Saturday, August 11th, members discussed and amended the draft platform as well as voting on a final version to present to convention delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina. The draft platform was created by the Platform Drafting Committee in Minneapolis in July.
The Platform committee unanimously approved a platform that included a same-sex marriage plank for the first time in history, as well as calling for the repeal of a 1996 law, signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, which recognizes marriage as between a man and woman. Some federal courts have struck it down as unconstitutional. Mayor Booker said, in closing, “we have a platform that will excite not just Democrats but the nation and ensure that Barack Obama will be reelected.”
The final platform language has not yet been released, but a source said that the LGBT-specific sections, including the new amendment, would not change between now and the convention.
President Barack Obama said in May that he supports same-sex marriage. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney doesn’t (and neither does his VP pick, Paul Ryan), and both have endorsed a federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
“At the end of the day it’ll maybe repel some and attract others to be more engaged,” Booker told reporters, referring to the platform plank. “This campaign is not going to turn on gay marriage. This campaign is going to turn on who has the best ideas for the economy.”
The full convention will vote on the platform on the first day of the Democratic Convention in September.