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US party branches moving forward on gay rights

Democratic and Republican party branches are sending their parties' leaderships strong messages ahead of both parties' national conventions later this year

A Democrats party branch in the US state of Kentucky has voted to call on the Democratic National Committee to formally endorse same-sex marriage and add it to the platform at the party’s 2012 national convention.

The Louisville/Jefferson County Democratic Party executive committee voted 16 to 3 to send the message to the national convention, to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the North American summer.

Anne Lindauer, chairwoman of the county’s 34th legislative district, said it had been the ‘right and proper thing to do,’ following the endorsement of same-sex marriage by US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

‘It’s just the progression,’ Lindauer told the Courier-Journal, ‘Years ago, even my generation, my parents generation, it would have been unthought of.’

But with my children and grandchildren, it’s not any huge issue ... We are American, we promote freedom.’

However despite going public with his support, Obama said in May that he will leave it to the states to decide the issue for themselves.

Meanwhile the Washington DC Republican Party has become the first state level branch of the Republicans to formally endorse gay rights.

On Thursday, DC Republicans endorsed a new platform, which included a new section on sexual orientation.

‘We, the Republicans of the District of Columbia support the belief that all individuals, without regard to sexual orientation, are entitled to full equal protection under the laws and the Constitution and that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect,’ the new platform reads.

DC Republican Committee chair Robert Kabel told the Washington Blade newspaper that the LGBT section of the new platform had been widely supported.

‘I was delighted that the Platform Committee included this inclusive language on equality,’ Kabel said.

In contrast, in June the Texas branch of the Republicans voted to oppose employment protections for LGBTs.

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