The White House failed again Tuesday to embrace the likely 2012 Democratic Party platform favoring gay marriage, even as a new national poll showed the stance is overwhelmingly popular with its party.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, a Connecticut judge ruled that a part of the federal marriage law is unconstitutional and a California group asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take its case to uphold a traditional-marriage law.
In a report released Tuesday, the Pew Research Center said 65 percent of Democrats now say they support gay marriage, compared with 40 percent eight years ago. Liberal Democrats were especially pro-gay marriage, with 83 percent supporting such nuptials, said the report, which polled nearly 3,000 adults a few weeks ago.
In comparison, 51 percent of political independents support gay marriage, while only 24 percent of Republicans support such marriages.
The surge of Democratic support for gay marriage should bolster Democratic National Committee (DNC) plans to add legalization of gay marriage nationwide to their party plank, as indicated earlier this week.
But neither the White House nor President Obama’s campaign would say whether the president approves of adding support for gay marriage to the party platform. Meanwhile, the DNC — which is under Mr. Obama’s control — is taking a victory lap anyway.
In an email to supporters, the DNC is leading a petition drive asking folks to sign their names saying they approve of the gay-marriage plank.
“Add your name today and say you’re with Democrats as we fight for the right of every American to marry the person they love,” Rep. Barney Frank, a member of the drafting committee and an openly gay member of Congress from Massachusetts, said in the email.
The email doesn’t ask for funds. Instead, it is likely a way for Democrats to identify supporters who care particularly about gay marriage as an issue, which lets the party target its future communications.
On Monday, Mr. Frank announced that the platform would include support for gay marriage — the first time a major party has gone that far.
Mr. Obama earlier this year reversed himself and said he now embraces gay marriage, but for the second day in a row, the White House declined to say Tuesday whether he supports adding the plank or whether doing so would hurt Democratic candidates in swing states.
“I think you heard the president discuss his personal views” on this topic, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “With regards to the DNC platform — I think that issue is still being worked out and I would refer you to the DNC.”
Blacks oppose gay marriage at far higher rates than white Democrats, as evidenced Tuesday by a group of black pastors who urged Mr. Obama to abandon “this foolishness” of same-sex marriage.
The Rev. William Owens Sr., founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, announced a “mandate for marriage” campaign at the National Press Club and urged Mr. Obama to “come to his senses” and “admit he made a mistake” on gay marriage.