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Democrats say I do
On Feb. 13, Freedom to Marry launched their "Democrats: Say I Do" campaign, aimed at lobbying the Democratic Party's drafting committee to formally adopt a position of supporting marriage equality into the party platform. The new platform will be ratified at the Democratic National Convention this summer. The current platform language reads (p. 52):
We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.
The proposed new language would read:
The Democratic Party supports the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibility, and protection under the law, including the freedom to marry. Government has no business putting barriers in the path of people seeking to care for their family members, particularly in challenging economic times. We support the Respect for Marriage Act and the overturning of the federal so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” and oppose discriminatory constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny the freedom to marry to loving and committed same-sex couples.
Is the time ripe for the Democratic party to finally come out of the closet and say "I do" support marriage equality and not just wink and a nod at it?

Reid Wilson writing in the National Journal this week called marriage equality support "The New Democratic Litmus Test." Wilson argues the 2016 Democratic presidential aspirants will inevitably include marriage equality supporters, and Democratic marriage equality opponents may well find themselves at a significant fundraising disadvantage.

In July 2011, President Obama's pollster Joel Benenson and George W. Bush's pollster Dr. Jan van Lohuizen were hired by Freedom to Marry to crunch the numbers. Here's what their analysis of six national polls from Gallup, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, ABC News/Washington Post and Pew Research Center (Pew) found:

Trend poll
Trendline from pollster's summary report (PDF).

The trendlines are indisputable, and a general consensus seems to be forming that marriage equality is inevitable, Vice-President Joe Biden even said so himself.

Among Beneson and van Lohuizen's conclusions was the declaration that "support strongly correlates with age. As Americans currently under the age of 40 make up a greater percentage of the electorate, their views will come to dominate."

Sussman
Emily Tisch Sussman
And look who signed up right away to endorse Freedom to Marry's initiative: the Executive Director of Young Democrats of America. YDA has 150,000+ members from chapters in 46 states and U.S. territories and over 1,500 local chapters. Emily Tisch Sussman writing on the group's website said:
“As the Executive Director of Young Democrats of America, I represent young people, and the way we connect young people back to Democratic politics is by speaking out for what is right and taking action. Polling shows that 70 percent of voters 18-34 support the freedom to marry, and for many of our members, it’s a cause that goes to the core of why they consider themselves Democrats. It is time to realize that marriage is no longer an effective wedge issue; it is a cause that we as Democrats should be leading on.”
Leadership is the key issue here.

The changing trendlines certainly are signaling to many Democratic leaders the water's fine, hop right in. The strong hand of leadership emanting from Democratic Govs. Cuomo, Gregoire and O'Malley in New York, Washington and Maryland were certainly key to marriage equality victories in the last year.

There is certainly a school of thought that Democrats should not engage "social issues" and that what voters really care about is the jobs and economy.

While the second part is almost certainly true, total disengagement from this "social issue" is not a luxury the LGBT community has the privilege to enjoy in the 2012 election cycle. Whether LGBT Americans like it or not, their civil rights will be going to popular ballot referendums, definitely in Minnesota, Maine and all but certainly in Washington and Maryland as well. North Carolina too will be voting on May 8 on a constitutional amendment to ban virtually all unions but opposite-sex marriage.

And for some inexplicable reason Republicans seem anxious to make 2012 the year of a resurgent culture war. Inexplicable as polling shows they are out if the mainstream on all touchstone issues. Abortion, birth control and even marriage equality offers increasingly no advantage to winning the hearts and minds of the middle.

Poll
Support by party affliation, average five national polls*
Nationally marriage equality supporters are indisputably in the majority.

Viewing support through party affiliations, and non-affiliated voters, the divide is even more revealing.

Increasingly the GOP's rhetoric preaches only to their choir. Supporting marriage equality offers little risk to a Democrat to turn off the base or independents. It's becoming clear that the most adamant opposition is fast boiling down to a hardcore group of 30% mostly religious right conservative Republicans. And it isn't at all clear that a voter that doesn't support marriage equality personally considers a candidate's support a deal-breaker in an otherwise acceptable platform of issues.

Believe it or not, even the Republican party seems to be waking up to this. Earlier this year, National Journal took the temperature of political "insiders"—political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists—in both parties. They found an amazing 20 percent drop in GOP's appetite for opposing marriage equality in just under two years. All the movement on the GOP side was toward a desire to "avoid" the issue:


Republicans insiders on marriage equality
July 2011
(105 votes)
April 2009
(104 votes)
My party should support it 14% 8%
My party should oppose it 30% 50%
My party should avoid the issue 56% 37%
Other (volunteered) 0% 6%
A smart strategist will attack where he sees his opponent retreating and 84 percent of Democratic opinion leaders recommend their party support marriage equality. Quotes from insiders included this from a Democrat: "It's a huge demographic opportunity for Democrats because almost every voter under 30 supports it."  This one came from a GOP operative: "Only idiots fight demography." In New Jersey, Democrats appear to have used Republican Chris Christie's idiocy against him.

But often Democrats are more comfortable discussing the politics of contrast than playing them. To do that you have to get in front of the issue, and lead the conversation in a new direction rather than just respond to what the other side is saying.

As marriage equality support becomes the majority position it becomes less and less understandable to the LGBT community that leaders should treat the issue as radioactive or an electoral albatross.

There is of course, widespread anxiety about these various ballot fights coming to the 2012 calendar, and also perhaps anxiety at the prospect of a 2008 redux.

Think back to November 4, 2008. While Democrats had every reason to cheer, for the LGBT constituency, the evening was more bittersweet. The landslide win of Barack Obama, and downticket sweeps of Democrats did not stop Proposition 8 in California, nor did it stop similar anti-gay ballot initatives in Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas.

In 2009, during the ballot fight for marriage equality in Maine, there was some criticism that Organizing for America was perhaps, less engaged than many LGBT Democrats might have hoped. That ballot initiative failed narrowly.

Signs are encouraging that the larger Democratic establishment will be more engaged in assisting the LGBT community with these battles in 2012 than in the past.

In Maryland and Washington, the party has good incentive to unite. Like marriage equality or not, the Republicans are coming to take away the Democratic Governor's legacy. Govs. Gregoire and O'Malley's triumphs will be hollow, even viewed as a political misstep, should they be erased by voters. In both states, a united front of the Democratic base can assure the governors' fight for the freedom to marry was not made in vain and the Democratic party's legislative agenda vindicated. In Minnesota, the Democratic party, under the leadership of Gov. Mark Dayton is showing a fierce appetite to adopt the fight as their own.

Unsurprisingly, further south of the Mason-Dixon line, the news is less encouraging in North Carolina. Moving the date of the ballot initiative from the general to be concurrent with Republican primary was anything but helpful, at least for the LGBT community. And Sen. Kay Hagan's comment she was "wary" of the amendment was described by North Carolinian Pam Spaulding as more "tepid" and "pitiful" than fierce, but still better than Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's statement.

The platform adoption is but one strategy for solidifying support within the Democratic base for turning these ballot initiatives into LGBT victories.

Adam Bink of Courage Campaign called adopting marriage equality support into the platform "constructive and important." But Courage Campaign's strategy is perhaps more pragmatic than symbolic and can be summed up in four words: "Show us the money!"
Courage Campaign and Grindr 4 Equality are focused on ensuring the DNC chip in to fund the campaign against these discriminatory amendments in Minnesota and North Carolina and ensure equal rights in other states because ultimately, money is what is needed to get our message out to voters in these critical campaigns."
Courage Campaign's petition to the DNC reads:
LGBT voters and their allies have put Democrats in office for years. Now it's time for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to have our back and help secure equal rights. As many as 5 states (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Washington) will face ballot referenda on marriage equality this year, where voters will vote on the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

In 2008, the DNC chipped in $25,000 to help fight Prop 8 and then-candidate Obama called for a "no" vote. DNC Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters she would "certainly consider" funding the fight for equal rights. Let's show the DNC how important it is for them to help again.

Submitted to Madame Chairwoman as she considers the appropriating of DNC resources for the 2012 cycle: the voters these equality-minded organizers will be working furiously to drive into voting booths will almost certainly be disproportionately young, progressive Democrats. Please, consider how that might end well for everyone on election night.

The ask seems particularly effective coming from Courage Campaign as they have distinguished themselves as full-spectrum progressive organizer engaging on issues as disparate as fair taxation, racism, health care reform and countless others.

Michael Cole-Schwartz speaking for Human Rights Campaign said:

We are supportive of Freedom to Marry's and Courage Campaign's efforts. Having party support for marriage and a variety of other LGBT issues is important which is why we've testified previously, including in 2008, before the DNC Platform Committee. As we look toward these critical elections with marriage to be on the ballot in a number of states, HRC will be playing a substantial role in these fights.
The LGBT community has a good friend in DNC chairwoman Wasserman Schultz, a supporter of marriage equality. She has not yet commented on the platform language, but has a long history of standing with the LGBT community, including serving as vice-chair of the House LGBT equality caucus. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has already voiced support for the proposed change in platform language. She also once said to marriage equality opponents, "The inconceivable to you is the inevitable to us."

HRC
Secret Service watches President Obama address
Human Rights Campaign, Oct. 2009 (White House)
But of course the elephant donkey in the living room is the awkward optics of a party adopting a position that the party leader does not share. (Although exactly such a situation already transpired late last year in Australia on precisely this issue.) This almost certainly presents the biggest hurdle to the successful adoption.

But even the party leader himself seems to be acknowledging the inevitable telling Joe Sudbay and gathered bloggers in October 2010:

THE PRESIDENT: The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going.

Q: The arc of history.

THE PRESIDENT: The arc of history.

The biggest point of debate seems to be when he will—or should—get on the correct side of the arc of history?

Not everyone has lost faith that the president's position will complete its evolution before November 6, 2012. In December, former Clinton White House advisor Richard Socarides wrote of Prop 8 and DOMA constitutional challenges in the New Yorker:

The potential for those decisions, together with a rapid change in public opinion in favor of marriage equality, have clearly become factors in President Obama’s thinking. As a result, I believe that he will announce his support for same-sex marriage before the 2012 election.
Might the president announce his personal endorsement concurrent with that of his party?

It certainly would put a bold exclamation point on his likely place in history as the first American president to declare the freedom to marry as a fundamental human right for every loving couple.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this Post (11+ / 0-)

    I've only had time to read that first quote from Emily Tisch Sussman.
    That's enough for me to say you've posted another home run !

    now I'll go give the post a full read

    Thank You again !

  •  I think Obama will be the first American president (13+ / 0-)

    to declare the freedom to marry as a fundamental human right ... but I do not think this will happen before the November election.

    •  And might actually impede progress (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, claude, Cedwyn, Luschnig

      if tied to the re-election campaign - and lessen chances of taking back the house.

      Without heroes we are all losers with nothing to aspire to.

      by qua on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:44:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  just like DADT repeal impeded progress? (14+ / 0-)

        Because that was the exact argument being made by Democrats opposing the repeal even in the face of 70%+ support. And thanks to those cowardly voices it almost didn't happen. If you think the backlash that was beginning to ensue because of the feet-dragging on the issue was strong, you haven't seen anything yet when equality reaches a fever pitch. The parabolic rise in support doesn't seem to be slowing down. If the Democratic Party continues to cower to these extreme red states at the expense of the rest of the country there will come a point when allies turn into enemies--this issue affects orders of magnitude more people than DADT did. It would be smart for Democrats to lead for a change before those levels of support reach 60%+ (and they will very soon) and find a growing anger turning into a revolt instead of continuing to pretend that the Times Square ball never said goodbye to 2004.

        Progress will not be impeded by being on the right side of history, it can only be impeded by people like you who cower at the thought of offending people who will never support equality while they are alive in order to help the Ben Nelsons of the world.

        "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

        by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:45:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  People like me? (0+ / 0-)

          Pragmatic enough to be aware of that great mass of easily swayed people out there who decide elections? Give me a break. Going down in flames waving a flag of "rightness" never accomplished anything. Don't ask, don't tell was an absolutely necessary, if horrible, intermediate step. Without it, we wouldn't be where we are now. It's called reality. NObody gives a crap about offending the idiots, only how the debate is perceived by swing voters, those who (however unfortunately) will decide elections. It's politics, not philosophy or ideology (or even right vs wrong). And polled % support can be pretty meaningless if it is soft enough to be vulnerable to smartly directed pressure from the right. Fear works.

          Without heroes we are all losers with nothing to aspire to.

          by qua on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:03:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You apparently don't get my point. (5+ / 0-)

            That great mass of easily swayed people has already been swayed toward the equality position. a majority nationwide support marriage equality. The idea that they would change their minds because of Democratic Party support of GOP fear-mongering (if you think it ever stopped you've been living under a rock) is absurd. That train has left the station, and the GOP, despite their best efforts to keep demozing gay people, is losing.

            I wasn't arguing about the merits of the DADT policy in 1993. I am arguing about the effort to repeal the law in 2011, which saw the same specious arguments about a supposed "backlash" or "people aren't ready" or "it will cost us the election" etc etc etc in order to excuse the feet dragging. It almost did not happen even thought there was stratospheric public support.

            Public opinion on the matter will not regress. It will keep progressing, and the GOP will continue to fear monger and demonize. And the Democratic school of cowering in the face of GOP attacks will certainly not get you any extra votes. That's been the go-to strategy of the party for the last 2 decades.

            "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

            by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:20:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  no offense intended, but yes, people like you. (0+ / 0-)

            the democratic party and its platform, more and more, is decided by the "pragmatic" wing of the party.

            it is the exact reason why i *hope* this language will be adopted into the platform but don't *believe* it will be adopted. it isn't "pragmatic". being bold and supporting an ideology isn't "pragmatic".

      •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

        i followed the link to page 52 of the dem platform, which i gather comes out of the pre-election convention.

        incorporating this into the party platform before this election would be nothing but disastrous.  talk about motivating the basest of the GOP base...

        My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

        by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:16:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, we wouldn't want to offend Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Scott Wooledge

          So let's make sure the Democratic Party refuses to make a statement that it believes gay people are entitled to the same marriage rights as straight people.  Because that might anger a bunch of people who are never going to vote Democratic anyway.

          By this logic, Johnson should never have gotten any of the civil rights legislation passed.  After all, as he correctly predicted, it cost the Democrats the south by pushing huge numbers of white voters into the arms of the Republicans.  Which, I suppose, one might characterize as "nothing but disastrous."  I rather suspect, however, that most African-Americans would say that doing the right thing was worth the sacrifice.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:23:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He said last June that his opinion on (5+ / 0-)

      marriage equality is "evolving", in the same presser where he famously said that his young children were more mature than the Congressional GOP leadership.

      I suspect that after the election he will come out for lots of things when he no longer has anything to lose, and I fully expect--as of now--that the President will be re-elected.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:27:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Obama will be the first American president (0+ / 0-)

      I truly want to believe that, but I will havev to see it happen first.

  •  Nice post. I really believe this could so help the (10+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party!

    "A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back - but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you."--Marian Wright Edelman

    by TheSolipsisticMe on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:37:49 AM PST

    •  I greatly oppose the idea that marriage =freedom. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      Take my word for it.

      Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:59:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  could help energize (3+ / 0-)

      some of the young people Obama has lost.  But the truth is there are lots of homophobes who call themselves Democrats.  As a gay man, this is not my first issue to worry about, but in terms of actually getting blocs, this could be good for Florida.  In 2000, they gay bloc was only 75% for Gore and had it gone the same way as the bloc did in other states, (closer to 90%)  Gore would have won the state easily.  The Dems were a little afraid to organize gay folk in Florida and they saw what happened.  Now,  Florida, NY, PA, NJ, CA and NY have a higher percentage of the gay vote in their demographic voting numbers.  Where the Dems need traction is obviously FL and PA... this could help there and not really hurt other places where those who would be upset would not really make a difference. Perhaps in NC...

      Pass new laws to end media monopolization now.

      by john from vermont on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:06:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry but any gay who voted for Bush (0+ / 0-)

        can't be blamed on Gore. The evidence was there and if anyone failed to see the truth or voted some kind of fucking protest, gay or straight, they got what they deserved.

        Gays like straights, black or white are responsible for their vote and blaming Dems for no organizing is a cop out. You sound like a reasonable man. Something tell me you got it right.

        •  tommy2tone (0+ / 0-)

          there is no blaming on anyone... organizing is not just convincing people to vote but identifying them and getting them to the polls.  The black vote in Florida was quite organized in 2000 and they (even with the suppression) got their voters to the polls.  Alot of Dems worked (I had freinds working down there)  It was helped by Democratic funding... in 2008 Obama realized what I just said in my analysis and sent personally his deputy campaign manager to Florida for that election (a gay man)  and they put money and energy in organizing the gay community ...getting folks who were going to be out of state, etc, to send in absentee ballots. Lots of stuff goes into get out the vote.  .  The percentages are not always based on the absolute number of gay and lesbians but the number that voted.  If in a very democratic city, there is no get out the vote campaign, then there will be less in your Dem bloc.  I am not saying that the same number of gays voting for Bush would have been different.  I am saying that had Dems did in 2000 what they did in 2008, the percentage of the bloc and votes for the candidate would have been more.  So yes, I blame the Dems (maybe not Gore himself)  of 2000 for not putting more resources into that election to get the vote out in the gay community.  This is one plus one electoral politics.  

          Pass new laws to end media monopolization now.

          by john from vermont on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:21:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  sounds like you have a good handle on this... (0+ / 0-)

        i would love it if you would diary on the evolution of the glbt vote and provide some hard numbers to whether (or not) we are a viable bloc (that should flex its muscles based on our numbers)...

  •  This would be worth it just to see the fundies' (10+ / 0-)

    reaction.

    "AAAAAUGH! YOU'RE TAKING AWAY OUR FREEDOM OF RELIGION!"

  •  Nope. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmoreNC, commonmass, claude, Cedwyn

    Would cost Dems the Senate (ND, MT, MO, NB) and guarantee they don't take back the house.  

    Let the individual candidates make it an issue if they want to in their individual races but it's probably a cycle too soon to make it official party platform.  

    It's up to individual States and the courts - it will be a slower walk, but it's in the right direction.

  •  It would be awesome if POTUS could say "I do" like (5+ / 0-)

    right now. god knows he is already being "accused" of supporting same-sex marriage by wingnuts like Graham. I think he is likely to say "I do" after re election. He will be the first president to say that.

    •  He will also be the first President who was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberaldemdave

      actually President when a majority of Americans supported marriage equality. Coincidence? While I welcome, and eagerly anticipate, President Obama evolving on this issue, it has always been a politcal calculation. If he were standing on principle as a Constitutional scholar with the Equal protection Clause of the 14th Amendment in mind, he would already be there.

  •  There's no escaping it folks (16+ / 0-)

    It's only a matter of time. Especially out here in Oregon.

    I do wish more elected officials would step up and lead.

  •  wow. (23+ / 0-)

    that graph showing that R's want to AVOID the issue altogether, is FABULOUS!!!!

    That means:

    1. They're scared it's a losing issue for them
    2. They're tired of hearing about it, and have given up.

    Critical mass has been reached!


    may we not be strangers in the lush province of joy - Charles Wright

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:54:35 AM PST

  •  "When great changes occur in history, (8+ / 0-)

    as a rule the majority are wrong." - Debs, E. V.

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:57:23 AM PST

  •  Platform Purity Fights are Counterproductive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Cedwyn

    Convention platforms are not where real progress or legislation are made, but squabbles over platform points can definitely impede more than advance important goals.  In particular, the Democratic National Convention needs to be focused on economic fairness, and not focused on gay marriage, worthy though that cause is.

    •  Exactly, Political parties are coalitions. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn
    •  If the platform is updated prior to the convention (5+ / 0-)

      to include support for marriage equality, then there would be no platform fight -- and, therefore, no danger of any counterproductive squabbles.

      The right thing to do is to update the platform to include marriage equality well in advance of the convention.  It's also politically the smart thing to do.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:07:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's quite optimistic. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, liberaldemdave

        You're, apparently, from Texas.  You don't think there would be a number of members of the Texas delegation that would, indeed, start squabbling if they came to the convention to find an endorsement of gay marriage in the proposed platform language?

        I think there would.  One of the most important things the delegates do is approve the platform, and they always squabble over it.  I think the notion that a fight over an issue on which people have strong opinions can be avoided through procedure puts too much faith in power of procedure.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:42:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Having lived in Texas for about 20 years (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sebastianguy99, Chitown Kev

          and having been involved in Dem politics there, there are more pro-equality folks in Texas than you think. Conventions are about squabbling. It's the nature of the beast.

          Two facts to remember (though with the caveat that Houston is not representative of all of Texas):

          Houston, the fourth largest city in the US has an openly Lesbian mayor.

          No Mayor of Houston since Kathy Whitmire (inclusive) has won without the support of the LGBT community.

          Were there to be a gay rights platform like the one proposed in the Dem platform, lots of conservative Dems would oppose it, some may even support it. Don't forget, on a proportional basis, Massachusetts has as many conservadems as Texas does however fighting gay rights and marriage equality is a losing battle and people know it. Even New Hampshire has marriage equality, for instance.

          Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't doubt that there are pro-equality TX dems. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, liberaldemdave

            I'm pointing out that there are also a rather large number of Texas dems on the other side, and that they would make a stink.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:51:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  then they need to be involved in the party. (0+ / 0-)

            the last state convention i attended (as a pledged delegate to obama) saw glbt support in the state platform watered down without even a whimper of a fight from organizations like the stonewall democrats.

            the TDP is infested with blue dogs and that "pragmatic" mentality. i was told, by more than one official, that it was *necessary* to "tone down the language" in order to win elections.

    •  Who is having a "purity fight?" (10+ / 0-)

      Do you disagree that adopting language like this is "inevitable?"

      Are you arguing the current position on LGBT realationship recognition and marriage equality should never be revised or changed at all from the 2008 position?

      I am not particularly optimistic full marriage equality endorsement will be adopted in 2012. But if a discussion emerges in 2012, it will resurface in 2016.

      •  some people still can't accept that (10+ / 0-)

        this isn't 2004 anymore. They are blind to the changes happening before their very eyes. 8 states have approved marriage equality since then. The gay marriage boogeyman is dead and some people just can't seem to accept that. Polls now show consistent majority support with trend lines accelerating at a pace that seemed impossible back then. It is because of people who refuse to let 2004 go that DADT very nearly didn't happen even in the face of 70% majority support. Deep red states will never be convinced in this century, it is not an excuse to be a fucking coward. They have always been dragged kicking and screaming into modernity--it will continue to be that way. They should not keep the rest of the county in the dark ages.

        "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

        by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:20:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  in researching the gulf (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Eddie L, liberaldemdave, kait

          I noticed in NC, many Democrats are not really being particularly helpful. Contrast Gov. Perdue's comments with Cuomo, O'Malley, and Gregoire's. She might as well said, "Oh go ahead and vote for anti-gay amendment!"

          it isn't surprising red states lag when one party really hates gays and the other's message is "Psst: we just dislike them..."

        •  every point you just made (0+ / 0-)

          underscores how unnecessary this effort is.  

          unnecessary + potential for backlash = not a good idea

          My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

          by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:22:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Terror over the potential for backlash (7+ / 0-)

            Emanates from a misguided idea that people who hate gays do not already reliably vote Republican in every race.

            •  the GOP base is in complete and utter disarray (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sebastianguy99

              right now.  their lack of enthusiasm this cycle is very much to our advantage.

              the surest way to get them fired back up is to give them a read meat issue like this to drool over.

              My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

              by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:40:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, they will suddenly see an opening (5+ / 0-)

                to campaign on the theme of fighting the evil gays.  

                •  i take it that was snark? (0+ / 0-)

                  anyhoo, your previous point has a corollary:

                  Believing this action is necessary emanates from a misguided idea that people who support gays do not already reliably vote democratic in every race.
                  both statements are true for the most part.

                  as to the poll indicating a 56% sentiment that the GOP should avoid the issue, it's critical to keep in mind that that is the opinion of  GOP insiders.

                  but the real question is why do they feel that way?  it could be they feel the birth control kerfuffle is enough red meat for this cycle; i doubt we've heard the last of it.  maybe they're not complete idiots and rightly perceive that they had bloody well better be presenting economic solutions, given the current environment.

                  whatever beliefs are underpinning the sentiment, the GOP insiders cannot control the Focus on the Familys of the world.  They cannot stop the Hagees and Grahams and whoever elses of the world from inveighing on the evils of teh ghey and exhorting their followers to keep satan's handmaidens out of elected office.

                  even if they fail to take the white house, they could still do a lot of damage to downticket races.

                  i think progress on this is best served by keeping GOP enthusiasm depressed this election and go for a strong push to repeal DOMA in obama's next term.

                  sorry, but i just don't think the change in the platform language is significant enough to warrant the shitstorm it would invariably cause.

                  peace

                  My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 10:31:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Reaaonable pragmatist may be able (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cedwyn, pot, FogCityJohn

                    to beat down the LGBT constituency and the orgs effort on this in 2012.

                    But they should be prepared to surrender in 2016.

                    •  by 2016 (0+ / 0-)

                      we won't need it!

                      :D

                      My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                      by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 01:03:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do you need it at all, now or then? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        liberaldemdave, pot, FogCityJohn

                        Or are you not waiting for your right to marry the person you love?

                        •  i'm referring to the arc of progress (0+ / 0-)

                          and it is unquestionably in our favor.  we've won this one.  is it immediate or all-encompassing enough?  no.  deep and abiding change rarely comes about that way.  

                          but state by state, it is changing.  

                          and it's not like modifying the dem party platform will directly lead to legalized same-sex marriage everywhere.  

                          or at least it's true that keeping the GOP base depressed and winning congress solidly would have more of an effect.

                          My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                          by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 01:25:01 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Just clarifying "we're" not waiting (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pot, FogCityJohn

                            For anything.

                            I am waiting.

                            And you are telling me to wait, but not actually waiting for anything yourself.

                            Which is a luxury a lot of LGBT families do not enjoy.

                          •  i'm not telling anyone to do anything (0+ / 0-)

                            good grief.  

                            i am just stating my OPINION that this is not an effective tactic to pursue and that it could produce a backlash.  i didn't realize having opinions was verboten.

                            i am certainly NOT telling you, or anyone else, to wait for anything, either; altering the democratic party platform isn't going to usher progress along any faster than it's already moving, in my OPINION.  it's not like the party platform gets to vote in congress.

                            i am really curious, though, how you simultaneously believe that santorum with a megaphone poses a risk of anti-gay violence and that putting same-sex marriage front and center in the news cycle like this is salutary.

                            My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                            by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:33:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I realize that this comment was not directed to (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cedwyn, FogCityJohn, Scott Wooledge

                            me, but if I may, just my thoughts on your last paragraph. Apologies if this is out of line.

                            First, I don't expect the kind of 24/7 attention to the DNC  that we've had from this republican primary mess. And no one thus far, pre-convention, has seemed to notice we're even considering this.

                            Second, what we're considering including as part of the party platform is a positive message. It has the added benefit of letting younger voters know that we hear them, and are listening.  

                            Third (and last), even if there is a backlash, it won't be a new or surprising message these kids aren't pummeled with every stinkin' day. At least this way there is a national voice of counterpoint.

                            I'm not a generally optimistic person, but so far, this is what I think, although I am anxious to read more, and learn. (Oh, and I support including this in the platform for other reasons as well).

                          •  thanks for being real with me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kait

                            i guess i just don't see the changed language as being that substantially different from the stated opposition to DOMA that's already there.

                            it's definitely a positive message, so i get that it's different from santorum's rantings.  but i think this has more potential to cause an anti-gay backlash, only bringing the issue up in the dem party platform would galvanize and motivate the GOP base during the election to boot.  

                            santorum is just one guy spouting nonsense; putting same-sex marriage in the dem platform like this provides a rallying and focal point for the haters -- "look what the dems and gays are doing now; it's a direct assault on our freedoms! we have to get these people out of office!!!"

                            basically what it boils down to is i just don't see that the benefits of a slight modification to the party platform language (which is even more non-binding than congress' non-binding resolutions) outweighs the risk of backlash on this, electoral and real-world.

                            i think time and momentum are on our side and we should be picking our fights carefully, like things that are concrete wins.  changing the wording in the dem platform would have no immediate effect on rights for gay people/couples and i just don't think we should be enjoining battles over what amounts to positive messaging.

                            peace

                            My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                            by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:34:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  you can make that argument for every election (4+ / 0-)

                cycle to infinity. Interracial marriage still makes their blood boil. Your point may have been valid when only 25% of people believed in equality or half the country thought gays could infect you with AIDS by looking into your eyes.

                A majority of Republicans, religious fundamentalists, and neo-confederates will always hate gay people just as they will always hate black people, immigrants, and any policy that doesn't conform to 12th century standards. These issues will always enthuse them. The point is they don't make up a majority of the country and cowering in fear at them being whipped up by hate is not a strategy that will pay dividends anymore. It really really really isn't 2004 anymore. Just look at the graph, and look at it again, and again until you finally realize that a majority of people support marriage equality.

                "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

                by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 10:31:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The cowering in fear thing. I'm really really (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FogCityJohn

                  tired of it too, and I thought one reason we were so enthused, and successful in the 2008 election is because so many others, both in our party, and just outside it, were as well. I thought a part of the Hope/Change strategy was because it was sensed that so many were tired of both cowering and fear, or as you put it so well, that it just doesn't pay political dividends anymore. Part of the Change to believe in was supposed to be an answer to the perennial charge that Democrats are weak, even from a position of strength/majority.

                  •  so you have no problem with operation hilarity? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kait

                    and we shouldn't worry about santorum inciting anti-gay violence?

                    My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                    by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:47:12 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  NO. I don't support OH. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Cedwyn

                      I could immediately picture OH being picked up by television media, NYT, etc., as it was. This I see as less, much less likely to be of interest. BUT, then I read your thoughtful response to my comment upthread, and now I'm thinking again, although still not 100% persuaded. One seems like a goad just made for publicity, while this, in terms of opposition seems less likely to generate outcry--but I am considering hard what you said. I take the bullying, the terror, the harm very seriously, enough that I've once come between something that I thought might start at a convenience store (I'm an old lady, so fuck it, what the hell. I can't have anyone else, young or old, hurt if I can buy time, or assist in some way. My aunt, for whom I am a full-time caregiver, is in full agreement and support of me with this).  OTOH, there is that positive message to be sent, and again, I read your thoughts, which I appreciate BTW, so that I can continue to learn come to the best conclusion that I can. Santorum? I come from a military family, and have wept for this country long before him, but honestly, he is a terror. So I really do appreciate your response to me. I'll continue to read, and think, and now maybe, I am undecided. Hmm.

      •  Your timeline sounds perfect. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cmoreNC

        A discussion in 2012 to push the conversation, four more years of that conversation, and then a serious push for adoption in 2016, at which point support among the delegates will likely be overwhelming.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:45:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  2016 is much better timing (0+ / 0-)

          ...the goal in 2012 is to WIN ELECTIONS, FIRST, not to score moral victories.

          •  Well, it's also to set up the future. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kait

            I absolutely think that there should be a push to include pro-marriage language at this convention.

            I'd just hate to see anyone decide that 2012 or Death! is the hill they're going to die on.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:52:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I full confidence in 2016 (5+ / 0-)

            there will be no scarcity of voices decrying it as the worst idea ever that will be sure to lose the Democrats the White House, Senate and House.

            •  "wait your turn" (4+ / 0-)

              I've been hearing this all my life. every election is "the most important election EVER!!!!111" and "icky" issues should be avoided at all costs lest the Republicans attack us! No doubt by 2016 they will tell us to wait our turn once again. Hell they even told is that DADT repeal would whip up the GOP into a hate frenzy and it would be bad for the midterms and blah blah blah--all the while 70% of the country wanted the damn law repealed.

              There will never be a good time to push for gay rights--even in a place like NY you still heard the concern trolling about Gov. Cuomo making it an issue. That's why even when public opinion reaches super majority support you will continue to hear the same Democratic voices telling you to keep waiting because god forbid the GOP will get enthused and oh noez "the most important election EVER!!!!!111" is just around the corner.

              "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

              by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 10:50:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  that will always be the goal... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier, kait
            ...the goal in 2012 is to WIN ELECTIONS, FIRST, not to score moral victories.
            2016
            2020
            2024
            2028
            2032
            2036
            2040
            2044
            2048...

            lather, rinse, repeat. we're tired of waiting.

          •  Couldn't it also be said that 2016 might be much (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Scott Wooledge

            worse timing, since we won't have an incumbent Democratic president, and that 2016 is when we might even more so need to focus on winning a presidential election?

            I do understand concerns about individual congressional seats, I am just not convinced that this one added plank is what will or will not do them in. And, speaking as the cynic I am, it isn't as if those individuals don't have one thousand and one comments at the ready to distance themselves from this issue, from the President and his stance on any given issue, from their own party's platform, hell, from everything short of grandmas.

  •  I would be so extremely pleasantly (5+ / 0-)

    surprised if Obama took this position before the election. I doubt it would happen, but if it does then I think it would be a game changer. And not necessarily for action at the federal level--Obama would be the first president to announce support for marriage, but I doubt he will be the one presiding over federal recognition for every American. But I think it would add even more momentum to action in the states and perhaps even influence court decisions.

    Just consider how things were in 2004...remember when the MA decision took place in the middle of that campaign? The media went into a frenzy, the GOP went into a frenzy, the Democratic by and large went into a frenzy. I sometimes cannot believe how much things have changed. Just in the last 3-4 years alone we've have what 5 or 6 state legislatures approve marriage equality? That seemed so unthinkable even in 2006 or 2007. At the time I believed that the only path was through judicial action. Can anybody explain what seemed to have taken place since about 2009 when support for marriage equality went from a steady increases into almost a parabolic trend up? Did an unusually large number of elderly people die in the last 2 years? Something seems to have changed in the last 2 years that is pushing marriage equality into unprecedented levels of support. Is it inconceivable to have over 2/3 support in the country by 2014-15 at this pace of change?

    As the diary says, no longer will Democrats receive a pass if they take regressive positions on this issue. With these trends, nothing less than full equality will be tolerated withing the Democratic Party.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

    by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:00:24 AM PST

  •  Well it's Sunday morning and I'm doing what I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Cedwyn

    always do on sunday morning:  

    • procrastinating
    • meditatating.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:02:14 AM PST

  •  Parties follow public opinion, not lead it. (0+ / 0-)

    That's how politics works. When political parties get out in front they lose power.  

    •  consdiering polls (7+ / 0-)

      show consistent majority support now nationwide and the trend lines have shot up since 2009, if the Democrats get out in front they would be following public opinion. Are you saying that if the party starts to officially support equality that people who now support equality will change their minds? That seems to me like an absurd proposition. Being in favor of equality is no longer going against the grain. Just what is your threshold of support by the public in order for the party to take a strong stand? 55%? 60%? 70%? At some point continuing to wait and drag out the issue makes enemies out of allies. The DADT battle nearly created a revolt because Obama and a significant number of Democrats wanted to keep dragging their feet in the face of 70%+ support in the polls. They avoided an ugly outcome thanks to the agitated base of support which began protesting.

      "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

      by michael1104 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dem. candidates will go with their constituencies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Cedwyn

    and that will vary from state to state. It would be stupid for Obama to stake out a position on gay marriage at this stage of history. It is an issue of merit, and one of many issues, not the least of which is economic justice, continuing health care reform, the Supreme Court, and war and peace.

  •  There's this kid, 17yo Adam Hoover, in Ohio (7+ / 0-)

    ...who has already organized marriage equality street protests in Cincinnati and Columbus. He's working on setting a Guinness Book record at his next one in March in Cleveland. He's been attacked by Cincy's most notorious homophobe Phil Burress (of Larry Flynt fame).

    It would be great to see marriage equality incorporated into the party platform to validate the efforts of Adam and his supporters, and people like them (us) coast-to-coast...the party's future is now.

  •  Conventional wisdom here in Maine is that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue, Scioto, Cedwyn, sebastianguy99

    equality will pass in November. For one, polls are showing that many people who signed the petition to get Question 1 on the ballot in 09 (which repealed marriage equality passed by the lege and signed by the Governor) have since changed their minds, enough to swing the vote the other way. Secondly, the RC Diocese bankrupted its self fighting equality and still remains financially weak. The closing of the Cathedral School last year was a direct result of the money spent fighting marriage equality (oddly enough, the Bishop shares his summer house with a "long-time male companion", something very common amongst conservative opponents of equality who themselves are in the closet).

    Perhaps the most important development is the court ruling that the NOM has to reveal their donor list in conjunction with their activities in Maine last time around. If there is one thing conservative Mainers dislike more than same-sex marriage, it's people "from away". My suspicion is that when that donor list is made public and some Mainers see that the bulk of those donations came from outside the state, they will hold their nose and vote for equality or abstain. Maine might have a relatively large geographical area, but it's population is tiny and very suspicious of outsiders, which may actually work to our advantage in November.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:26:14 AM PST

  •  This Election is NOT about gay rights... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Cedwyn, OnePingOnly

    ...it's about economic fairness first and GOP extremism on female reproduction second as the issue to hammer the GOP on.  As to bigotry, the GOP is doing a fine job on its own putting on a self-destructive face with independent voters.

    What we don't need is to seem to be refocusing the Presidential election as a referendum on gay marriage.  That will not win many votes we already have, but it will lose us some independent voters who think the focus should be laser-like on the economy, hurting not only Obama's electoral chances but Senate and House races too.

    This President has delivered on ending discrimination in the military, and you can see the longer game on policy by refusing to defend DOMA in court.  But to be able to continue delivering on evolving and embedding nondiscrimination into law and practice, THE FIRST THING IS WINNING ELECTIONS, PRESIDENCY, SENATE, HOUSE.  Just as critically, judicial appointments follow the election returns.

    •  the election isn't about the platform either (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoiseBlue, commonmass, cooper888

      and the platform isn't about the election.

    •  Economic fairness (7+ / 0-)

      is certainly a part of gay rights.  My neighbor who lost his house to the extra tax burden after his partner died would attest to that.

    •  Gay rights is part of what this election is about (0+ / 0-)

      though probably not a very big part. Elections, and party platforms, can be about a lot of things. I don't expect the President to run on it, of course, but having it in the party platform could be beneficial. It could make the eventual GOP candidate look really dumb attacking it.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:42:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many votes you going to win with that plank? (0+ / 0-)

        ...by that, I mean votes that would otherwise go to the GOP?  If an explicit plank is not part of the formal Dem platform, do you think marriage equality advocates will help their cause by not turning out or voting GOP instead?

        WHICH PARTY is friendly to the advancement of gay rights and which is hostile is already perfectly clear, as is which party in power is more likely to facilitate and accelerate equality in actual law and practice.

    •  The pro-choice plank is doing (0+ / 0-)

      us women a lot of good.  We're getting killed (figuratively and maybe, as in the state of Texas' defunding of Planned Parenthood, literally) in state after state.
      The GLBT community is doing spectacularly well in changing public opinion. Maybe the best plan is not to throw red meat to the slobbering bigots in the form of an otherwise pretty meaningless platform position and just keep on working for the party that's so clearly behind marriage equality.

      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please -- Mark Twain

      by OnePingOnly on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:51:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In singling out the pro-choice plank (5+ / 0-)

        you are misidentifying the source of the problem.

        It is not the pro-choice plank that is the problem.

        It is that the plank means nothing to too many Democrats, like Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson.

        And why should it? Nelson is generpusly rewarded by the party with endless bribes precisely because he bucks the party on key issues like choice.

        Democrats always forget about sticks in the stick and carrot strategy for enforcing party discipline. (See: Joe Lieberman.)

        •  stands to applaud. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait, FogCityJohn

          which is why it is VERY worthwhile to fight for inclusion in the platform. it gives us something to hold on to...leverage, to be "purity trolls"* (something our party needs to get a little better at if we wanna see real democrats in office instead of folks like stupak and nelson)...

          *i don't mean that literally, but i don't think it should be used as a pejorative when being idealistic about the party platform.

    •  President Obama is not so stupid as to not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge

      realize voter concerns with the economy, jobs, gas prices, etc. Who suggested his presidential re-election run would be either refocused or a "referendum" on marriage equality (no such critter as gay marriage)?  We're talking about party platform here, not mandatory tattoos or anything.

      And as to the rights of women, no better allies and friends have there been than LGBTQ people. And in many ways, I see those issues related enough as to be  hand-in-hand.  Known friends and allies, versus possible Independents (who may be gained as well as lost). I'm going with solidarity, for this as well as other reasons. Bottom line, economic and civil rights always intersect, and while some voters may not grasp that, our party is supposed to be the big tent that does get it.

  •  The party should absolutely include that in its (7+ / 0-)

    platform. Democrats who are afraid of it can adopt whatever language they like for their own campaigns; we have Blue Dogs who prove a candidate doesn't have to stand with their party on everything.

    As far as Obama goes, I don't think he'll support full equality before the election. I like to think that sometime after the election, near the end of his second term, he will have fully evolved, and hopefully by 2016 we have candidates who run on the platform of full equality.

    By then I think we'll have a few more states who've charged forward and granted equality to all citizens, and any arguments about "destroying marriage" will be completely hollow. (As if they aren't already.)

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:32:06 AM PST

  •  As an electoral strategy, it's best not to... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, doroma, Scott Wooledge, Cedwyn

    fight on 50/50 territory.  Drawing contrasts with the Republicans on social issues is a great idea, because we can count on them to immolate themselves over extremely unpopular positions like contraception.

    On gay marriage, I think we're still at the point where it's best to let the Republicans break themselves against our defenses, casting themselves as the crusaders and losing, badly, for it.

    Then it will be time for the Democrats to go on the offense.  I bet Obama stops being coy not before the 2012 elections, but after them, in time for either 2014 or 2016.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:32:46 AM PST

  •  It's a pretty sad day when I, as a NJ resident, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    have to explain how I can criticize Chris Christie for his position on marriage equality when he takes the same position as our President.  

    What's wrong with this picture?   Could it have anything to do with how black voters feel about gay marriage?  No.   That couldn't be it.  Could it?

    Come on President Obama, walk the walk.   You will be rewarded for doing the right thing.  Trust me.  

    Living proof that hard work can raise your apparent skill level.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 08:57:53 AM PST

  •  Will the Democrats say I do support... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, George Hier

    ..women's reproductive and health choices in a clear and powerful voice? That has been getting on my nerves, that with our rights being torn away state by state in a massive campaign, the Party and the President haven't made any strong statements.

    I don't mean to derail this issue, but if they can't come out swinging for rights that were already fought for and gained, what are the chances they will go out on a limb? Sigh.

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

    by reginahny on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:05:04 AM PST

  •  Changing the profile of the Democratic party (0+ / 0-)

    Any political party that excludes a significant minority on the basis of ANY sort algorithm is doomed. I want to see the Republican trolls smashed at the polls in November.

    If you want to see the same results, you  will have to become active at your local Democratic party office. If you can deliver your city or county to the Democrats, we will win.

  •  I just watched 'The Loving Story'... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldemdave

    ...last night on HBO.

    The Loving Story

    It really brought home how many parallels there were between the two. Marriage Equality is every bit about our civil rights as much as the Interracial Marriage fight was.

    I hope the DNC has the courage to adopt this. I think it will send a strong and unifying message to all democrats.

    California*, Conneticut, Iowa, Maryland*, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington*. (and District of Columbia) *pending

    by cooper888 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 09:22:12 AM PST

  •  If President Obama doesn't evolve, and quickly, on (0+ / 0-)

    this issue he will definitely face a dilema when and if he comes to Maine seeking votes. With marriage equality on the ballot here, which would give the people of the Maine the distinction of being the first in the nation to actually vote for marriage equality, his input could be decisive. I would be overjoyed if he came to his senses but, personally, I think he will hedge, offering to support whatever the state decides, an approach that would leave him impotent to criticize a state like North Carolina where banning marriage equality is in the offing. That would make me extremely angry, and I am a huge supporter.   He needs to get on the right side of history NOW.

  •  Its finally time Dems to do the right thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldemdave

    take the right stand and to really offer a bold, stark contrast to those on the other side of the aisle. I want to see and hear Christie squirm, and no longer be able to say he takes the same view as President Obama, and Mr. President, you could be REALLY bold and come out on the side of equality and yes, gay marriage. State after state is now taking up the issue and most of the states, well the ones who are ruled by Dems. are making the right choice.

  •  OT (0+ / 0-)

    But had to share this hot (and touching) photo of Marine homecoming love

    California*, Conneticut, Iowa, Maryland*, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington*. (and District of Columbia) *pending

    by cooper888 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 10:05:43 AM PST

  •  Straight kossacks "for" equality (4+ / 0-)

    It's pretty aggravating to hear all this talk of strategic efforts to sweep the LGBT community under the rug. If we advocate for basic and fundamental rights we'll lose! It will be the dault of the homosexuals!

    Do you people not see how ceding so much to the right wing on LGBT issues dovetails nicely with other vital issues like women's rights? It all fits together. If you keep retreating you keep losing.

    •  Makes the FOR equality a bit suspicious, or at (0+ / 0-)

      least seem a matter of convenience, doesn't it? And I find it sad that the LGBTQ community has to make the obvious point that losing ground here will ultimately lead to losing ground on other civil rights, including women--almost as a persuasion tactic. I understand the need, the reality, I just don't like it. At all.

      There is also no guaranteed time line for the President's evolution. It is easy to say that "with nothing left to lose" he will come out for marriage equality "after the election", but people seem to forget that there is always another election to follow. Even a second term president is not immune from party influence and pressure regarding that--and those pressures do not decrease in the last term, but increase. I would think that including "I Do" language this year might increase pressure on  the party, the President, and future candidates if need be. I know that platforms change, but unringing a bell, and all that.

  •  FDR (0+ / 0-)

    a liberal hero, refused to support anti-lynching laws because he wanted to get the votes of the southern dixiecrats at the time, which he felt was necessary to win another term to allow him to continue pushing policies that he really wanted. It's about strategizing to maximize the most beneficial outcome which is the GOAL of progress, not taking an ideological stand that accomplishes NOTHING.

    •  I don't know it's helpful (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, pot, kait, FogCityJohn

      to introduce comparisons to lynching into the conversation.

      But I would guess FDR probably disappointed a lot of people at the time.

      He certainly is respected by liberals for his acts of courage, like supporting unions, and arresting corporate CEOs, and fighting for living wages.

      And he is certainly NOT remembered fondly for his record on minority rights. The Japanese internment camps are unquestionably a blemish, not a credit to his legacy.

      Perhaps if he'd been challenged more forcefully on that, his legacy would be better?

  •  I've been predicting this continuosly, ever... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge, roycej

    ...since he and Biden started talking about "evolution".

    Not everyone has lost faith that the president's position will complete its evolution before November 6, 2012.
    I just can't imagine a political motivation for publicly telegraphing such an "evolution" so far in advance if it is scheduled to take place after the 2012 election.

    I just don't see any political advantage whatsoever to laying the groundwork for a flip-flop that occures after the election.

    But I can see plenty of political calculations for preparing the groundwork in advance for a change that occures before the election, making it yesterday's news, so to speak, when it actually happens.

    Perhaps it's just my own lack of imagination, but that's my story, and I'm sticking to it until the day before the election.

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 11:05:23 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this, Scott (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kait, FogCityJohn

    We're working hard to ensure the DNC does its part to make sure Election Night 2012 isn't like Election Night 2008, as in bittersweet for millions of people with the passage of Prop 8.

    Folks, our petition can be found here if you'd like to sign.

    I'm proud to serve as Director of Online Programs at the Courage Campaign.

    by Adam Bink on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 07:55:17 PM PST

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