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Barney Frank wonders why including gay marriage in Democratic Platform is such big news

'This is an important addition to our fight for equality in general'

Barney Frank made a lot of headlines earlier this week when he told the Washington Blade that the Democratic Party will officially endorse same-sex marriage at its national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in early September.

Frank is surprised that anyone was surprised.

'I was surprised that this got the attention that it did, because in this instance, it is not even a promise or a prediction of what the Democrats will do,' Frank writes in a blog post. 'It is an after-the-fact statement of what we have already done.'

'President Obama has already stated his support for marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which is not only an important use of the bully pulpit to influence public opinion in general; it will be particularly helpful in the several referenda this fall on the subject, especially in states with large African-American populations, such as Maryland,' he adds.

Frank said that a 15-member panel unanimously backed the inclusion following a weekend hearing in Minneapolis.

'The draft Democratic Platform, if this plank is accepted in its current form, will affirm support for the right of same-sex couples to marry and affirm our opposition to [the Defense Of Marriage Act). It will not be a promise but a summary of actions by the Democratic President and more than 90 percent of House Democrats. I am therefore surprised that some people were surprised that the party's platform would reflect what the party's elected officials already have done.'

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