For the first time in American history, a major U.S. political party has incorporated support for a redefinition of marriage into its official statement of beliefs.
The Democratic Party's platform, formally adopted at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, supports "marriage equality," a phrase used by those who wish to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples.
The platform, which outlines the party's official views on a variety of subjects, called for the full repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes and protects states from being forced to recognize the same-sex unions of other states.
It also called for the passage of the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which would require the federal government to recognize same-sex “marriages.”
While the document voiced support for the freedom of "churches and religious entities" to determine how "marriage as a religious sacrament" should be administered, it did not include any mention of individuals or groups that hold religious objections to recognizing and supporting civil marriage.
It also noted that the administration has redefined the word "family" in immigration regulations to include homosexual relationships.
Affirming its support of abortion with no restrictions, a redefinition of marriage and free birth control for all women, the Democratic Party said in its official statement of positions that it is committed to "pursuing policies that truly value families."
The platform also recognized the importance of good fathers and noted Obama's initiatives to support and encourage fatherhood.
"We all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children," it said.
The president has drawn criticism for acknowledging the irreplaceable role of fathers while at the same time undermining this important role by supporting “same-sex marriage,” which renders fathers unnecessary and optional.
The Democratic platform also removed references to "God," but it noted that faith-based organizations have played a "central" role throughout American history. It called for "constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other nonprofit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests."
"There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution," the document said, "and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith and country."
At the same time, the party voiced its support for the controversial federal mandate that requires employers to offer health-care plans that include free contraception, sterilization and early abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.
Widely criticized for its infringement upon conscience rights and freedom of religion, the mandate has drawn the opposition of individuals and organizations from across the religious and political spectrum, including objections from bishops in every Catholic diocese in the U.S.
However, the Democratic Party's official statement of beliefs argued that the president "has respected the principle of religious liberty" in promoting "affordable family-planning services."
The party reiterated its commitment to "safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay" and opposed any restrictions or attempts to "weaken or undermine that right."
In addition, it observed that Obama issued an executive order to repeal restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research and voiced support for "evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education," although it did not elaborate on which types of sex education it considers to meet these criteria.
The platform also said that America must advance its "core set of universal values" around the world.
"President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to supporting family planning around the globe," it said, highlighting the president's decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy, which bans U.S. funds from supporting foreign family-planning groups that promote or perform abortions.
Insisting that "gay rights are human rights," the party also said that the State Department is currently "funding a program that finances gay-rights organizations" and vowed to "actively combat" the actions of other nations that it believes are engaged in "discrimination."