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The Democratic Party will include a plank backing gay marriage in its official platform at this summer's convention, marking the first time either major party has done so and handing same-sex rights advocates another major victory only months after President Obama came out in favor of marriage equality.
Rep. Barney Frank, who sits on the committee tasked with approving language for the platform, revealed the news to the Washington Blade Monday, and party sources quickly confirmed it to other media outlets. Frank said that he and the other 14 panel members unanimously agreed to add the pro-gay-marriage plank after a public hearing in Minneapolis over the weekend. The exact wording has not yet been released, but a DNC official told the Blade that it will also call for the repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, something the president also supports.
Frank, who married his partner in Massachusetts earlier this month, explained that he was prepared to make a forceful case for the plank's inclusion but that, ultimately, his fellow panel members didn't take much convincing. "There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it," he said.
The final language will be approved next month by a full platform panel in Detroit before the September convention in Charlotte, N.C.