Howard Dean, Other Former DNC Chairs Back Gay Marriage Platform

HowardDeanObamaIt's looking more and more likely that President Obama is going to have to address the ongoing push to include gay marriage in the Democratic Party's official platform.

After Nancy Pelosi, convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa, nearly two dozen senators and other high-ranking officials have called on the party to embrace marriage equality, there's now word that Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman and David Wilhelm, all former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, are joining the effort being coordinated by Freedom to Marry.

Their statement, via Politico:

We are proud that the Democratic Party fights for working families, economic justice, and equal opportunity for all.  Times change but our principles must always remain strong. That is why, as former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we stand with Freedom to Marry, 22 Democratic senators, Leader Nancy Pelosi, and more than 35,000 Americans in urging the Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the platform that is ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this September.

Obama, the ball's in your court. How are you going to play it?


  1. kyle says

    If the Democratic platform is changed to support marriage equality, will there be fallout from Black voters who seem to have strongly opposed in the past? Or will all groups fall in line with the party without objection? (This will be my first time to vote, so trying to learn more.)

  2. Matt says

    While I obviously agree with the marriage equality platform, I don’t get why different groups are pressing the President so hard on this issue right before (relatively speaking) the re-election?! If he takes up this platform now I think it will alienate too many voters who are on the fence with this issue right now. Let him get re-elected first then hit him hard to back FULL equality!

  3. says

    Finally, equality of marriage. I think the big issue is that straight people have a hard time understanding how gay people think, why they are gay, etc. This has a bearing on the acceptance of gay marriages. Maybe, sharing more information about being gay will bring about more compassion and acceptance.

  4. Derrick from Philly says


    eventhough some Black Americans are very vocal opponents to marriage equality they still vote for pro-marriage equality Democrats. It’s one of the most annoying things to White Conservative racists. Black mayors, most Black local and state officials, the one Black governor, almost the entire Black Congressional Caucus support marriage equality for Gay people.

    Some right-wing bigots say that Blacks support liberal pro-Gay rights Democrats because of the Democratic Party’s support for “entitlement programs”. Well guess what? The Blacks who vote on a regular basis are NOT the ones who receive “entitlements” (except older folks on social security).

    It’s a puzzlement: as vocal as some un-educated Black Americans are in their anti-Gay rhetoric they still support politicians who support equal rights for Gay Americans.

    Do anti-Gay White Americans support pro-equality Republicans? Are there such creatures….left?

  5. AG says

    Matt, Don’t you think that your arguments against including gay marriage in the Dem platform today are very similar to what evil gay Republicans from GOProud would use to justify keeping anti-gay stuff in the GOP platform?

  6. says

    @AG: I think there is a big difference, but I do understand what you’re saying. The main difference is that there is strategy behind letting President Obama wait until after the election because we know he is going to be free to be what he is, pro-gay, without having to worry about getting re-elected. Is that the brave, principled, fierce route? Nope. But it would be the route more likely to result in even more positives for gay people, including having the first-ever sitting president in favor of marriage equality.

    Whereas the right-wingers are arguing more along the lines of, “We’re more than JUST gay, gay doesn’t matter THAT much…ever.” They’re not targeting specific elections, they’re willing to wait forever. (And not really “wait” cuz they know there will be no change.)

  7. Matt says

    No, and I don’t think that is a fair comparison. Why would you want to force this issue right now and risk the presidency going to a republican because of it? That scenario would be devastating for our side! Again, let Obama win and THEN lets go all-in for equality.

  8. Chitown Kev says

    I’m glad you said that, Derrick, because attempts to paint black voters as monolithically one-issue voters for representation on this issue has never been borne out by the facts.

    Black voters are not single issue voters when it comes to candidates. Never have been. But if all I read were gay blogs, I sure would think so.

  9. says

    there’s a big difference between what the wimps at GOProud do (or DON’T do) and what Democrats do.

    you can google as hard as you can, but you will find no bigoted, prejudiced anti-gay comments from President Obama.

    not exactly the case with the GOP leaders that GOProud stands alongside and supports. It’s an important distinction that gay republicans need to intentionally ignore in order to keep repeating their nonsensical talking points.

    President Obama, unlike the GOP dunces, is not actively promoting anti-gay prejudice. wake up and smell reality, folks.

  10. Opinionated says

    So stupid. Please stop this DNC. The man needs to be reelected so we he can actually do these things as a sitting President. Does anyone truly think he will not come out in full support after elected? I mean REALLY?!? Flying Spaghetti Monster help us if some Republican fool is elected by a small margin over this nonsense and then we have 4 years of reversals. Get your priorities straight people. So frustrating.

  11. says

    of COURSE Obama will further things in Term Two.

    the man knows how history works, how history plays out, and how history will remember him and his Presidency.

    it’s not like those inane Republicans who literally, truly, think that one day “the South will rise again”

    you know , the Jesse Helms-ian bigots who think that the “Good Old Days” of 1953 were actually Good Old Days, and not the days of lies, oppression, discrimination and prejudice…..

    Term Two for President Obama will be an historic term for all of the USA, including we LGBT people. trust it.

  12. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Obama will not “evolve” nor endorse such a change in the Dem. Party platform.

    a. It would offend many in Black community where he needs their full support.

    b. It would remove the stick that the DNC beats the G/L money tree with, and guarantee that unquestioning-access to the GAY ATM will end after the 2012 election-cycle, if not before.

  13. says

    And gay Republicans insist Obama won’t do it because their worlds will fall apart when a Black Democrat does more for them than their own white Conservative families ever have, or ever will.

  14. says

    this whole “if democrats support gays then blacks won’t support democrats” thing is pathetically hilarious.

    and the GOP can’t support gays, and Gay republicans can’t (won’t?) champion LGBT Equality within their own party, because then the GOP’s legion of anti-gay “Christian” bigots will stop doling out their pitiful tolerance that they bestow on Gay Republicans Who Don’t Have The Balls To Stand Up For Themselves.

    you show me a gay republican who’s giving a face and name to LGBT Equality and true understanding and acceptance of the LGBT Communities and I’ll show you a unicorn.

  15. GraphicJack says

    Kiwi… I agree the repugs are awful as a general rule and we are better with Obama, even if he doesn’t cave to the pressure within his own party to come out in favour of equal marriage… but I can name a gay repg who actually supports gay causes… Fred Karger. Is he better than Obama for Prez? No, but he has come out in favour of equal marriage. is against DOMA and has attacked NOM, Prop 8 and the LDS church. In that regard, he’s got a better platform for equal rights that Obama does, and he’s a Repug.