LGBT community hoping momentum on passing marriage equality picks up
This week, the LGBT community is getting a lot of attention. The official Democratic Party platform includes support for same-sex marriage for the first time in history and the gay community is hoping that momentum from passing marriage equality in New York will have an impact across the country. Nick Reisman has more.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- National Democrats will, for the first time, run on a platform of legalizing same-sex marriage, a move that is bolstering support from the LGBT community for what's expected to be a close election.
“Obviously re-electing the president, whose done more for the LGBT community than any president in history, certainly it's exciting to see marriage equality in the Democratic platform,” said Brian Ellner of the Human Rights Campaign.
New York Democrats, meanwhile, are giving credit to their state for making it happen. New York is the largest state to have legalized marriage for gay couples.
“I think probably the other states were at the forefront but once we did it in New York, it had to become part of the platform,” said Keith Wright, New York Democratic Party Co-Chairman.
New York passed its same-sex marriage law in June 2011 after strategic lobbying from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The passage propelled Cuomo to hero status in the advocacy community and was one of the reasons why President Obama changed his mind and supported the measure.
“Good progressive leadership, good progressive government can change lives with the stroke of a pen and do a lot of good. And to quote the governor of New Jersey, leaders don’t read polls, leaders change polls. I think Governor Cuomo has changed polls. He's changed the way people feel about this issue,” said New York Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy.
Same-sex marriage advocates are turning their attention to referendums in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state. Referendums in favor of same-sex marriage have often gone done in defeat including North Carolina earlier this year, where the Democratic convention is being held.
Ellner said, Momentum is everything in life and right now, we have a lot of it coming of the New York.”