Democratic Platform Draft Language on Gay Marriage

The draft language for the Democratic party platform on gay marriage has just been leaked, the Washington Blade reports. The language will be discussed and possibly amended when the full platform committee meets in Detroit this weekend. Here’s the language:

We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

How much of this will remain intact after the weekend remains to be seen. If it were adopted as it stands, it would be significant for a number of reasons, but here are just a few:

1. It would be the first time that a major U.S. political party has ever officially endorsed same-sex marriage.

2. By calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, this approach would force states where same-sex marriage is illegal to recognize same-sex marriage performed in states where it is legal. In effect, this would go against the states-rights approach that President Obama ostensibly favored when he endorsed gay marriage rights last May (though he himself also supports the repeal of DOMA).

3. By supporting the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, this approach would require the federal government to recognize gay marriage.

4. The part about supporting “the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament” is significant. It tells religious people that their beliefs can only be practiced within the four walls of the church. There is no room for a Christian definition of marriage as far as public policy is concerned. Under this approach, the government would say, “In your church, you can hold to the traditional definition of marriage. Out here in public, you will observe the definition that the federal government authorizes.”

5 Responses to Democratic Platform Draft Language on Gay Marriage

  1. Jon Wilke August 10, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    This issue is dividing our country and marginalizing believers and the church from those we are called to reach.

    What way forward do you see for us?
    What do you think the Republican response should be?

  2. Denny Burk August 10, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    The Republican nominee is already avoiding this issue like the plague. I think the Republicans will eventually fold like a cheap nickel knife on this issue.

  3. Jack Wolford August 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    It makes complete sense that the United States Government would obey a properly constructed and passed Law .

  4. donsands August 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.”

    This is crystal clearly an oxymoron (“????” (oxus, sharp) + “?????” (m?ros, dull).

    I wish I could stand and speak for 5 minutes about the definitions of marriage, weddings, male, female, bride, groom, etc.I suppose oxymoron is not a word any longer when it comes to things that contradict one another.
    But, I would be a bigot, of course.

    And as we head down this road, what really is the bottom line?
    The Gospel of course. The Gospel is the power for this spiritual lying being spread. But also, simple truth isn’t a bad idea as well, when spoken with meekness and consideration, and also boldness.

    Have a terrific Lord’s Day in our Savior’s truth and presence.

  5. donsands August 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    And speaking of speaking the truth with meekness and boldness, you are a perfect example of this Denny.
    Keep on my brother, and pastor.

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