Delegates to the Montana Democratic Party platform convention went on record unanimously Saturday for repealing Montana’s constitutional ban on gay marriages.
Without any debate, they supported striking existing platform language advocating legal protection for same-sex civil unions and offering those couples the same legal benefits and responsibilities granted to other individuals “united by civil contracts under Montana laws.”
Instead, the Democrats adopted this new language:
“We support repealing Section 7, Article 13 of the Montana Constitution. All adults should have the right to legally marry another adult of their choice, regardless of sex or gender. We believe same-sex spouses should have the same legal benefits, protections and responsibilities granted to all those who marry.”
Platforms are a statement of a political party’s philosophy. Any changes in the Montana Constitution would have to be endorsed by the Legislature and approved by voters, or proposed and passed as a constitutional initiative or changed by a court.
In 2004, Montanans, by a 2-to-1 margin, voted for a constitutional initiative to ban same-sex marriages. The provision says: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.”