Should the Democratic Party add marriage equality to its platform?
For me, and presumably many of you reading this, the answer is clear: obviously, they should! While there is growing pressure from within the party to add marriage equality to the party platform, there is also a large faction of the party that isn’t entirely supportive.
Former chairs of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman, and David Wilhelm, in addition to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have all come out supporting this move. Current DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and President Obama, however, currently don’t support same-sex marriage. Obama’s views have been “evolving” for several years now (which I personally believe are a political ploy, but that’s just me), but currently he only supports civil unions.
This is where things get complicated politically: if the party supports marriage equality, but Obama falls short, it could hurt his already strained relationship with the queer community in the United States. Furthermore, it could further the culture wars going on within the 2012 race that Democrats are trying to show that they are winning. If they add marriage equality to their party platform in 2012, it could sway independent voters who are against it to vote for Romney (let’s face it, he’s going to get the nomination), which Obama and the other Democrats clearly don’t want.
While support for same-sex marriage has grown in recent years, finally reaching a majority of the population in some polls, 2012 might not be the time to add it to the party platform, The issue is still too divisive and the culture wars are too strong. As much as I would love for for it to be there now, it might be the best move politically to wait until 2016.