Democrats set to add gay marriage to official party platform

Might as well, no? Most voters doubtless believe it’s already in the platform, especially after The One’s carefully timed, hypercynical “evolution” this spring. Keeping it out wouldn’t win them any votes at this point but might irritate gay rights supporters, especially the young adults whom they need to turn out in November. Besides, anything O can do to change the subject from his economic record is probably a net positive for him this fall. That’s why he invited Bill Clinton to give the pep talk at the convention instead of Biden. The One can run on Bill’s record instead: Centrism, strong growth, higher taxes on the rich, DOMA, “don’t ask, don’t tell” — no, wait, scratch those last two.

It’s a comfort to know that, after centuries of noncompliance, the Democratic platform now officially comports with “Chicago values”:

Party officials met over the weekend in Minneapolis and approved the first step in the platform-amending process. 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 current draft platform, authored a few months ago, mentions the “freedom to marry” for gay couples. Wonder how this language would have ended up if The One had kept up his charade on SSM:

A draft plank circulated in February — before the president’s endorsement — read: “We support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law, including the freedom to marry. Government has no business putting barriers in the path of people seeking to care for their family members, particularly in challenging economic times. We support the Respect for Marriage Act and the overturning of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and oppose discriminatory constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny the freedom to marry to loving and committed same-sex couples.”

Exit question: Does the platform really matter? It’s a meaningful symbolic victory for gay rights supporters, but a much more meaningful one would be if Democratic pols tout the issue in their speeches at the convention. And I don’t mean just any Democratic pols; I’m sure there’ll be some gay congressman who gets three minutes to speak on C-SPAN at 3:30 in the afternoon to make the case for SSM. I’m talking about Clinton, Biden, the keynoter, and of course the Lightbringer himself, who I suppose is now obliged to include a sentence or two about this in his acceptance speech. Will he do more, though, by spending some time on it, or are the electoral effects still too unpredictable to justify more than a check-the-box approach? Makes me wonder if including it in the platform isn’t a way for them to appease gay rights supporters so that they don’t have to include it most of the big speeches.