Starting this week, the Republicans will have a convention where Mitt Romney is officially nominated to represent the party in November's election. The following week the Democrats do the same for President Barack Obama.
During both conventions there's what's known as the acceptance of the party platform. The platform is the official record of hopes and aspirations. Essentially what each political group supports and believes. This year the two major US political parties couldn't be farther apart on marriage rights.
The CBS news program Sunday Morning ran a segment on the two worlds Democrats and Republicans inhabit when it comes to marriage equality.
'At the Republican Convention ... the official party platform will, for the first time, call for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage,' the report noted.
Democrats have their own history to make
'Democrats ... will for the first time endorse same-sex marriage in their platform,' the reported added.
While the parties debate on a national level, the truth of the matter marriage is a state issue. That where's the debate is won or lost. Currently there are six states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont), plus the District of Columbia where gay couples can get married. California's Prop 8 case might be heard by the Supreme Court. Citizens in Maine, Maryland and Washington will vote on gay marriage initiatives this November.
What advocates on both sides realize is that while marriage equality polls well, it has a terrible record in the booth. Whenever given the chance, US voters have said 'no.'