Democrats appear ready to embrace same-sex marriage as part of their party platform, a policy shift that reflects the rapidly growing acceptance of gay rights in mainstream politics.
Party officials met over the weekend in Minneapolis and approved the first step to amend their platform. In two weeks, the entire platform committee will vote on the matter at a meeting scheduled in Detroit. Then, if approved as expected, it would move on to convention delegates in Charlotte, N.C., for final approval in September.
According to Democrats who were briefed on the vote in Minneapolis, there was no objection when the issue came up. Though the language that was voted on still could be revised, party officials do not anticipate any major obstacles going forward.
The platform language approved over the weekend also included a condemnation of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages.
The Democratic Party’s move comes more than two months after President Obama personally backed the rights of same-sex couples to wed, making the action decidedly less controversial than it could have been had the party been in conflict with its leader.