Reinforcing the observations that the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket is the 'most liberal ever', the historical party stretched its platform to support the “full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits and protections for those families.” The platform, released during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week, places the Democrats on record as opposing the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment – an amendment backed by the Bush administration and dozens of pro-family and evangelical groups.
"In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there," the platform states. "We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a 'Federal Marriage Amendment.' Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart."
In following this liberalized view, the DNC invited the president and executive director of the largest homosexual rights organization to address the crowd. Cheryl Jacques, head of the Human Rights Campaign, began her July 29th speech with the mention of her “partner Jennifer and our beautiful twin boys Timmy and Tommy.”
In her speech, she said America is a “great experiment” that “began with a revolution against tyranny” and “transformed into an evolution of progress.”
Jacques implied that a Federal Marriage Amendment would be discriminatory to the “Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans” who “protect our country…die for our country” and “share the dream” of the nation.
The once-senator of Massachusetts added that while some may criticize the homosexuals’ dream, the flag shields them from "neither criticism nor dissent.”
“This flag is a clarion call to every human being that equality and freedom triumph over oppression and discrimination,” Jacques said as she pointed to the flag pin on her shirt.
She then lauded the John Kerry and John Edwards ticket by saying that “They know that the Constitution is a vessel of freedom, not a tool for discrimination.”
“Together we will send a message for all Americans to hear, that the light of inclusion will once again wipe away the darkness of division,” she concluded.
The Democratic platform statements also include one that supports “barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Also called the Employment Non-discrimination Act, this liberal effort would make discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” illegal in all work places, and would ultimately treat “sexual orientation” as a “right” equal to categories such as gender, race and age.
Additionally, the Democratic platform included a measure that places them at odds with dozens of evangelical and pro family groups: extending hate-crime legislation to include homosexuals.
The platform states: "Hate crimes desecrate sacred spaces and demean good people, and we support a strong national law to punish them."
The extension of hate crime legislation has been criticized by pro-family and evangelicals as one that would ultimately restrict the freedom of others.
"This is a terrible precedent, making sexual preference in any way, shape or form a protected right. Making sexual preference a protected right in any federal legislation will lead to litigation that will be extremely damaging to the freedoms of Americans," said Richard Land, the president of the evangelical Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Such liberal statements on the 2004 democratic platform stand in stark contrast to that of the Bush administration.
Bush had long-since pushed for the passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment, and when the House passed the Defense of Marriage Act last week, spokesperson Tim Goeglein said the administration “strongly support” the decision.
He added that the President will fight "to fully protect marriage from activist judges, including activist state court judges."
"The president believes that no state should be forced to recognize the same-sex marriage entered into in another state," said Goeglein.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the DNC announced the appointment of a ‘senior advisor for religious outreach’ to extend the party’s influence on faith-based communities.
Lindsay Taylor of the Republican committee expected the new efforts to fall flat.
"[People] are going to reject the Kerry-Edwards ticket because that is the most liberal presidential ticket ever,” she said. “They both voted for the war but then voted against funding for our troops, they voted against a ban for partial-birth abortion, they voted against tax relief. People are going to reject this liberal agenda.”
To view the entire democratic platform, please visit: www.democrats.org/platform.