These have hardly been the lazy days of summer. While the eyes of much of the political world are focused on the presidential race, in congressional districts throughout the country, candidates, delegates and grassroots activists are gearing up for the conventions where they will determine what they want their Party to stand for. Having a marriage equality plank in the Democratic Party Platform will clearly establish the difference between the two parties, since expected Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has signed the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay marriage pledge.
For Democrats, that first public meeting is set for July 27-29 in Minneapolis, where the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Drafting Committee, chaired by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland with 15 members including newly wed Rep. Barney Frank and Newark Mayor Cory Booker will consider a plank advocating full marriage equality. The DNC has a website to receive public suggestions that’s open until tomorrow, July 20. The entire platform committee will then meet Aug. 10-12 in Detroit to vote on the platform to be presented to delegates at the Sept. 3-6 convention in Charlotte, N.C. (The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson has an extensive report on the committee members.)
Party leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FLA) and convention Chair LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have already announced support for a marriage equality plank in the Party Platform.
But California Rep. Adam Schiff—who said he wanted to be a leader on LGBT equality —has gone a step further, organizing the entire California Democratic Congressional Delegation to support a marriage equality plank. In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, July 18, Schiff said he had almost all of the delegation and was continuing to reach out to others:
I’m working to organize the California Congressional Delegation to speak with a united voice and urge the Party to adopt marriage equality as part of the Platform. So far the delegation has responded with great enthusiasm and we now have a majority of the California Members who have agreed to sign on and we’re getting more members every day and I’m confident we will have not only a majority but almost all, if not all of our members on board.
Specifically, Schiff is asking Members to sign onto the Freedom to Marry letter to the Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee.Continue reading here.
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