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Same-Sex Marriage Platform Embraced At DNC

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TWC News: Same-Sex Marriage Platform Embraced At DNC
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The national Democratic platform will include calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage for the first time and New York Democrats celebrated their state's same-sex marriage law at the DNC Tuesday. Nick Reisman filed the following report.

National Democrats will run on a platform of legalizing same-sex marriage for the first time this election, a move that is bolstering support from the LGBT community for what's expected to be a close election.

"Obviously re-electing the president, who supports marriage equality, who's done more for the LGBT community than any president in history," said Brian Ellner of the Human Rights Campaign. "Certainly it's exciting to see marriage equality in the Democratic platform."

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 New York Democratic Party Co-Chairman Keith Wright.

New York passed its same-sex marriage law in June of 2011 after strategic lobbying from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The passage propelled Cuomo to hero status in the gay 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 that is a classic example of what Gov. Cuomo did," said New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. "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."

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 in North Carolina earlier this year, where the Democratic convention is being held.

"Momentum is the key to everything in life and right now, we have a lot of it, frankly, coming off the New York win," Ellner said.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he supports traditional marriage but has not sought to make social issues a major plank, preferring to hammer Obama on the struggling economy.

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