Examples of Reactions to the 2008 Democratic Platform

PRESS RELEASE from NARAL Pro-Choice America


NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Democratic National Committee's Platform Language

Washington, D.C. - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed the strong pro-choice position outlined in the Democratic National Committee's 2008 platform.  Keenan served as a member of the platform committee and participated in the committee's meeting this past weekend in Pittsburgh. In addition, Keenan presented testimony at the platform drafting committee meeting two weeks ago in Cleveland.

Keenan said, "The language in this platform reaffirms, in the strongest of terms, the Democratic Party's solid commitment to a woman's right to choose as defined by Roe v. Wade. We are pleased that the party adopted language that is consistent with NARAL Pro-Choice America's work to ensure that women have access to a full range of reproductive-health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion. We are also pleased that, during the full platform, no debates, changes, or amendments were raised related to a woman's right to choose."

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Ted Miller

PRESS RELEASE from Human Rights Campaign


Human Rights Campaign Statement on DNC National Platform

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today on the release of the Democratic National Committee’s National Platform as prepared by the National Platform Committee.  On August 1, Legislative Director Allison Herwitt testified in Cleveland, Ohio at the National Platform Drafting Committee meeting.  To read her testimony, visit: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2008/08/hrc-legislative.html.

Statement by Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese:

"This year’s Democratic Party Platform does more to address policy issues important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community than ever before.  The 2008 Platform reiterates and strengthens past support for legislation that would protect our community, including calls for the passage of hate crimes and comprehensive employment discrimination legislation, and the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in our nation's military.  It is historic and important to note that for the first time this year, the platform pledges to fight discrimination based on gender identity.  The platform also supports the full inclusion of same-sex couples and their families, with equal rights, benefits and responsibilities.  For the first time, the platform opposes the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of even those same-sex couples legally married under state law.  The platform also supports other issues of importance for GLBT, and all Americans, including a call for a national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS, support for fair and impartial judges not driven by ideology, and requirements that faith-based programs not use federal dollars to discriminate.   

The platform addresses many of our community’s critical issues, however it does not explicitly use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.  While this has prompted much discussion, it is our responsibility as a community in this election year to compare this document with the soon-to-be-adopted Republican platform and to judge which party would best advocate for us.  Additionally, we challenge the Republican Party to, for the first time, adopt equally supportive language.

HRC applauds the efforts of GLBT members of the Drafting and full Platform Committees, including Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Diego Sanchez, the first-ever transgender member of the Platform Committee and a member of HRC's Business Council and Boston Steering Committee.  Their presence is further testimony to the commitment of the Democratic Party to our community."

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


Citizens Committee for the
Right to Keep and Bear Arms
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA  98005


For Immediate Release: August 12, 2008

BELLEVUE, WA – The 2008 Democratic Party’s draft platform confirms that the party still “doesn’t get it” about Second Amendment gun rights versus the Utopian fantasy that gun control laws will somehow make neighborhoods safer, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“While promising to preserve our Second Amendment rights,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “the party platform demonizes semiautomatic sport utility rifles and wants them banned, calls for anti-gun show legislation and proposes so-called ‘common-sense’ gun laws. Many Democrats believe bans on most guns are ‘common sense’ and they still support the handgun ban in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Boiled down, all it really means is that the Democrats are still the party of gun control no matter how they try to re-package the rhetoric, and they know it.”

Gottlieb, co-author of a new book called These Dogs Don’t Hunt: The Democrats’ War on Guns, said the party is shamelessly telling American gun owners that they embrace the rights of millions of shooters, hunters and gun collectors, “but there’s a caveat.”

“The party’s gun control platform plank puts the lie to everything they say,” he added. “As Democrats descend on Denver to nominate a candidate who is on record in opposition to sensible concealed carry laws, we encourage gun owners across the country, and especially in Colorado, to remind the party that the Supreme Court in June held that gun bans are unconstitutional. Yet here they are, calling for a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ even after years of experience tells us that Bill Clinton’s ban accomplished nothing, and cost the party control of Congress in 1994.

“Democrats want to regulate gun shows out of business,” he continued, “even after a study done for the Justice Department found that gun shows are rarely the source of firearms used by criminals. Gun shows provide a forum, a gathering place for law-abiding gun owners to discuss ideas and issues, and share constitutionally protected freedoms of speech, assembly and the right to keep and bear arms. Increasingly, Democrats seem averse to the exercise of these rights by anyone who does not share their philosophy. And this is the party of inclusion?

“Democrats have an opportunity to reject and repudiate this platform,” Gottlieb concluded. “If they do not, that tells American gun owners everything they need to know about Democrats as November approaches.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.