By this point, support for same-sex marriage isn't much of a question in Democratic politics. A Gallup poll from last May found that 69 percent of Democrats support marriage equality, a number that has probably only increased over the intervening year. Some of the hotshot young Democrats eying 2016—most notably Governors Andrew Cuomo and Martin O'Malley—have passed same-sex marriage bills in their states and tout them as major accomplishments.
Now, a collection of former Democratic National Committee chairs has endorsed adding support for same-sex marriage to the party's platform. Per Huffington Post:
"We are proud that the Democratic Party fights for working families, economic justice, and equal opportunity for all," said Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman and David Wilhelm in a joint statement. "Times change but our principles must always remain strong. That is why, as former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we stand with Freedom to Marry, 22 Democratic senators, Leader Nancy Pelosi, and more than 35,000 Americans in urging the Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the platform that is ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this September."
There will be a largely symbolic debate later this summer over whether the Democrats should add marriage equality to the party platform at the convention. Platforms are little-noticed documents that, while providing a general direction for the party, don't typically result in direct policies. However, they do serve as a barometer for the party's priorities, and in this sense there is no question that the majority of Democrats support LGBT civil rights. The only problem: the de facto leader of the party still does not support same-sex marriage. Obama is still in the middle of his "evolution" on the issue, and hasn't indicated that he'll change positions before the party's convention in Charlotte, so any change to the party platform would serve as an indirect rebuke of the president.
That could still change in the next several months though. As Greg Sargent reported a few weeks ago, Obama's political advisors have been discussing the possibility of changing his stance before the November election. If, as widely perceived, Obama truly does support gay marriage and has only said otherwise for political motivations, I see no reason for the president not to come out in favor of marriage equality this year. It has become the favored view among a majority of the country and the segment of people who oppose same-sex marriage likely won't be voting for Obama anyway, but the move could serve to help energize his base, particularly the young voters he'll need to turn out in droves once again.
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