Moving Forward: A Look Back at the Push for Marriage Equality at the DNC
The Democratic National Convention concluded on Thursday, as President Barack Obama officially accepted the DNC’s nomination. This year’s DNC was historic for the LGBT community, marking the first time marriage equality has been adopted into the Democratic platform. There were over 500 LGBT delegates present at the convention, according to the Washington Blade.
The President officially endorsed same sex marriage earlier this year, and was a driving force behind overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
In his speech on Thursday, he reiterated his support for the LGBT community and women’s rights, saying, “Washington politicians […] want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves,” Obama said. “Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.”
The President was one of a number of influential speakers who addressed marriage equality. First Lady Michelle Obama, openly gay Congressman Jared Polis, and 21-year-old Zach Wahls, who became a YouTube sensation when a speech he gave in defense of his two moms went viral, were among those who came out in support of LGBT rights. (Michelle Obama enters at 2:40)
Another notable speaker last night was Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman from Wisconsin, who is campaigning to become the first openly gay member of the US Senate. She addressed issues including Medicare and the economy before concluding her speech with her fervent support for LGBT rights. “Our president has made historic progress toward equality," said Baldwin. “He repealed ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Tommy Thompson—they think they're the only ones who speak for Wisconsin.”
“But come November, the Wisconsin I know—the America I love—will speak out loud and clear, and keep us moving forward: forward with a strong middle class; forward on a path to prosperity; forward with President Obama!”
The first Presidential debate will be held on October 3, with a focus on domestic policy.