The prospect of a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte emerged this week as North Carolinians voted Tuesday to pass a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. That vote came just days after two senior members of the Obama administration separately indicated their support for gay marriage, developments that have increased the pressure on the president—who two years ago described his position on gay marriage as “evolving”—to complete that journey before formally accepting his party’s nomination in September.
“I think this will be a big issue at the convention no matter what,” said Richard Socarides, a Democratic strategist who served as special adviser to the Clinton administration on LGBT issues. “Conventions love controversy. Especially when the issue of the nominee is not in doubt. When you get all those political people together, they’re drawn to a controversy. And there’s going to be an effort to include a marriage equality plank in the platform.”
“People are going to be upset that this passed in a place Democrats are calling home for the summer,” he said. “So I think they will work harder to get the platform to take a strong stance.”
With polls now showing a plurality or majority of voters support gay marriage, and that Democratic and younger voters support it by overwhelming margins, the chorus calling for the party to add a freedom-to-marry plank to its platform have grown louder and more prominent—and President Obama’s balancing act on the issue has become more precarious as the volume has gone up.
The push began after Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he is “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil
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