Washington - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today on the release of the Democratic National Committee's National Platform as prepared by the National Platform Committee. On August 1, Legislative Director Allison Herwitt testified in Cleveland, Ohio at the National Platform Drafting Committee meeting. To read her testimony, visit: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2008/08/hrc-legislative.html.
Statement by Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese:
"This year's Democratic Party Platform does more to address policy issues important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community than ever before. The 2008 Platform reiterates and strengthens past support for legislation that would protect our community, including calls for the passage of hate crimes and comprehensive employment discrimination legislation, and the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in our nation's military. It is historic and important to note that for the first time this year, the platform pledges to fight discrimination based on gender identity. The platform also supports the full inclusion of same-sex couples and their families, with equal rights, benefits and responsibilities. For the first time, the platform opposes the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of even those same-sex couples legally married under state law. The platform also supports other issues of importance for GLBT, and all Americans, including a call for a national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS, support for fair and impartial judges not driven by ideology, and requirements that faith-based programs not use federal dollars to discriminate.
The platform addresses many of our community's critical issues, however it does not explicitly use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. While this has prompted much discussion, it is our responsibility as a community in this election year to compare this document with the soon-to-be-adopted Republican platform and to judge which party would best advocate for us. Additionally, we challenge the Republican Party to, for the first time, adopt equally supportive language.
HRC applauds the efforts of GLBT members of the Drafting and full Platform Committees, including Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Diego Sanchez, the first-ever transgender member of the Platform Committee and a member of HRC's Business Council and Boston Steering Committee. Their presence is further testimony to the commitment of the Democratic Party to our community."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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