DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Democratic Party officials announced on Saturday their endorsement of marriage equality, and called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
The Platform Committee for the Democratic National Convention, which gathers next month in North Carolina, met last week in Detroit, and approved the work of a separate group that drafted the platform two weeks ago, which included support for a “plank” that endorses same-sex marriage. That move echoes President Obama’s May announcement in support of marriage equality for all Americans.
The platform, a broad statement of the Democrats’ priorities on defense, the economy, and social issues, affirms the party’s “movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.” Foretelling opposition from religious conservatives, the platform adds, “We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.”
In addition, the language calls for the repeal of DOMA, the 1996 law that was signed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Five federal courts have ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional.
Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and co-chairman of the platform committee, acknowledged the “profound indignities” of DOMA’s provisions, as well as the divisiveness of the issue. “At the end of the day, it’ll maybe repel some and attract others to be more engaged,” Booker said.