Charlotte, NC —
Democrats meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina are expected to formally adopt a platform which for the first time backs gay marriage.
The platform, approved by a committee meeting last month in Detroit, is expected to be ratified Tuesday by delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
The plank, titled Freedom to Marry
, calls for "equal respect, responsibilities and protections under the law" for all families. It also calls for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which forbids federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
The document echoes President Barack Obama's argument that America has come a long way under his leadership but more work needs to be done.
"Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together again to continue what we started."
The platform is a sharp contrast from the GOP manifesto ratified last week by Republicans meeting in Tampa. The Republican document supports a federal "constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman" and "campaigns underway in several other states to" amend their constitutions to define marriage as a heterosexual union. The plan also criticizes Obama for his decision to no longer defend DOMA in court.