HRC Blog

HRC’s Allison Herwitt Testifies for Marriage Equality Inclusion in Dem. Party Platform

On Friday, Allison Herwitt - HRC's Legislative Director - testified before the National Platform Drafting Committee of the Democratic National Committee, urging them to add support for marriage equality as a plank in the Party platform. 

In her testimony she thanked the Democratic Party for its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community, and called for the expansion of the Party’s commitment to equality by unequivocally supporting the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Here's an excerpt of Allison's testimony:

The 2008 platform contained language strongly supporting the rights of same-sex couples, calling for equal rights, benefits and responsibilities for their relationships. It also called for repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that denies even lawfully-married gay and lesbian couples a myriad of rights and benefits, such as equal access to Social Security survivor benefits, equitable taxation of their health insurance benefits, and the ability to attain permanent legal status for a foreign partner. In addition, because of DOMA, the gay and lesbian service members now able to serve our nation openly are still not treated equally; their partners and spouses lack access to health coverage, housing assistance and other benefits afforded to other military families.

I thank the Party for taking this important stand in the 2008 platform and urge you to reiterate your support for equal treatment for same-sex couples and the repeal of DOMA, as well as any effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage. But I implore you to go further. For same-sex couples to truly be treated equally under our nation’s laws, they must have equal access to the institution of marriage. Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same opportunity to pledge their love and commitment to one another, to form families, and to be secure in those family relationships through good times and bad.

Click here to read the rest of Allison's testimony. 

UPDATED: the Democratic Party platform drafting committee has approved language that adds support for marriage equality to the Party’s platform.  The language must now be ratified by the full platform committee and then by the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this September.

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