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Democrats add marriage equality to national platform

The US Democrats have added marriage equality to their party’s national platform and have pledged to give the same federal benefits to married same-sex couples as married heterosexuals
The White House

The United States’ Democratic Party has added marriage equality to its national platform after it was endorsed by the party’s platform committee on Saturday and has called for the federal government to provide the same benefits to married same-sex couples as it does opposite sex married couples.

The committee was meeting in Detroit and endorsed a draft of the platform which had been put together by a working group two weeks ago in Minneapolis.

The platform will next go to the party’s national convention in North Carolina in September to be endorsed by the party’s rank-and-file.

Committee member and Minnesota state senator Scott Dibble said supporting same-sex marriage could be a vote winner for the Democrats.

‘Young people are looking for a political home right now. This has become a defining moral question of our time," Dibble told the Huffington Post.

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor and co-chair of the committee Cory Booker said endorsing marriage equality would win Democrats more votes that it would lose.

‘At the end of the day it'll maybe repel some and attract others to be more engaged,’ Booker said.

‘This campaign is not going to turn on gay marriage. This campaign is going to turn on who has the best ideas for the economy.’

The new platform says Democrats support "marriage equality" and the "movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples."

The platform also supports the rights of religious denominations to define marriage as they see fit.

The move by the committee comes on the heels of US President Barack Obama announcing his support for marriage equality in May.

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