Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would get behind a Democratic Party platform that included language supporting gay marriage, according to her spokesperson Drew Hammill. Her support comes in response to campaign launched by gay marriage organization Freedom to Marry called "Democrats Say I Do" which calls for "the national Democratic Party to include a plank supporting gay and lesbian couples' freedom to marry in the party's 2012 platform."
"Leader Pelosi supports this language," Hammill told told Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C. gay news magazine. Freedom to Marry president Eric Wolson said his organization is "proud to have Leader Pelosi joining our call to put the Democratic Party squarely on record in support of the freedom to marry as part of the national platform."
Gay marriage is a highly contentious issue. Republican presidential candidates fomer Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have all expressed opposition to gay marriage; they all instead support a federal amendment that would make same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Many Democrats oppose gay marriage as well. President Obama opposed gay marriage in his 2008 campaign. However since in office, he has enacted a number of other policies supporting gay rights and said in 2010 that his views on gay marriage were "evolving."
A U.S. News Debate Club covered both sides of the argument over legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Wolson himself stated,
Government has no business blocking people seeking to care for their loved ones, particularly in these tough economic times, nor should it punish children by depriving their families of the critical safety net and meaning marriage brings.
However, according to Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, gay marriage threatens traditional heterosexual marriage:
Changing the natural definition of marriage would amount to a declaration that procreation is unimportant, and that children do not need a mother or father. This would inevitably lead to a further deconstruction of marriage and the family—and fewer children being raised by a married mother and father—at a time when those institutions should be strengthened instead.
With Washington being the latest state to legalize same sex marriage, and Pelosi support of including it in the Democratic platform, it will no doubt be a heated issue in the 2012 election.
What do you think? Should the Democratic Party include gay marriage in its 2012 platform? Take the poll and comment below.
This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.
Previously: Should the Payroll Tax Cuts Be Extended?