Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie joined 10 other state Democratic Party chairs Thursday in issuing his support for marriage equality to be added to the party’s platform in September at the Democratic National Convention.
“In Texas we love all our families,” Richie said in a Freedom to Marry release. “We know to build a strong Democratic party and a strong Texas we must honor the core principles of our party and champion the full human rights of every citizen.”
Richie’s support is an interesting twist, seeing as the State Democratic Executive Committee voted down a civil unions resolution in November. When the item came back up for discussion in February, Richie ruled it out of order because it had already been voted on.
Richie joined state party chairs from California, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, Washington, New Jersey and Kansas in supporting the effort.
However, Vermont Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson objected to the inclusion of his name in the announcement because he simple told the organization he supported gay marriage, but not that it should be included in the party platform.
“It certainly was a little bit overreaching to put my name on something that I hadn’t even reviewed at that point,” he told POLITICO. “The whole thing just seems premature…the conversation was, do you support gay marriage? And yes, obviously I do. I said, what’s the next step? They said that’s all we need for now, and we’ll get back to you….that was two weeks ago.”
New York’s Jay Jacobs clarified his name’s inclusion in the announcement, saying he does not think his personal opinion reflect that of his state Democratic Party.
Read the full Freedom to Marry announcement after the jump.
11 State Democratic Party Chairs endorse freedom to marry plank
What do the chairs of the Democratic Parties in CA, NY, MA, MN, OR, TX, VT, WI, WA, NJ, & KS have in common? They’re all joining nearly 40,000 Freedom to Marry members in calling on the National Democratic Party to endorse a freedom to marry plank in this year’s Party Platform. The chairs announcing their endorsement of our “Democrats: Say I Do” campaign today include John Burton (CA), Jay Jacobs (NY), John Walsh (MA), Ken Martin (MN), Meredith Wood Smith (OR), Boyd Richie (TX), Jake Perkinson (VT), Mike Tate (WI), Dwight Pelz (WA), John Wisniewski (NJ), and Joan Wagnon (KS).
These party chairs – several of whom hail from swing states – join a robust coalition of Democratic Party leaders and elected officials who believe that now is the time for the Democratic Party to explicitly support marriage for all loving couples in the Party Platform when it is adopted this September during the National Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC. A Politico exclusive underscored the diverse political landscape represented by the state chairs joining our campaign today:
“That group covers states that have already enacted gay marriage laws (New York and Vermont, for example), states that are unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future (Texas and Kansas) and one state, New Jersey, where there’s currently a campaign underway to enact same-sex marriage by referendum.”
Jay Jacobs, the chair of the New York Democratic Party, released this statement today announcing his endorsement:
“Nearly a year ago, New Yorkers stood united in supporting full marriage equality for all loving and committed families, and Democrats led the way. We now see first-hand how marriage improves the lives of gay couples and their families, and strengthens businesses and communities throughout the Empire State. Marriage equality is simply the right thing to do, and that’s why I strongly believe that the Democratic Party should stand united for a freedom to marry plank in our national Democratic Party platform.”
But support for the marriage plank extends beyond states that have already enacted the freedom to marry. Boyd Richie, chair of the Texas Democratic Party, says that his endorsement today will help his state build a stronger Democratic Party:
“In Texas we love all our families. We know to build a strong Democratic party and a strong Texas we must honor the core principles of our party and champion the full human rights of every citizen.”
Freedom to Marry is elated to welcome support of State Democratic Party chairs from across the country. Our Founder and President Evan Wolfson stressed the importance of today’s round of endorsements in a statement released moments ago:
“Today still more Democratic Party leaders are joining in Freedom to Marry’s call for a freedom to marry plank in the Party Platform, because they know that at its best the Democratic Party fights for freedom, fairness, and families. These state chairs represent diverse states and a diverse range of constituents, including the biggest states in America from coast to coast, critical swing state voters in Wisconsin, and voters combating a cruel proposed antigay constitutional amendment in Minnesota. But whether from red, blue, or purple states, these party leaders know that including the freedom to marry in the 2012 national Democratic platform is not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing politically.”