1980 August 11

Democratic Party Platform Supports Homosexual Rights


The Democratic Party on this day became the first major national political party to endorse the rights of homosexuals in its platform. The reference to “sexual orientation” was contained in a general civil rights paragraph, rather than a separate one on lesbian and gay rights, but it was a historic breakthrough, nonetheless.

In 1976, Democratic Party presidential candidate Jimmy Carter became the first major party candidate to publicly oppose discrimination against homosexuals, which he did on May 21, 1976. Carter also became the first president to invite a delegation of lesbian and gay activists to the White House, which he did on March 26, 1977.

Read the historic plank: “We must affirm the dignity. of all people and the right of each individual to have equal access to and participation in the institutions and services of our society… All groups must be protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, language, age, sex or sexual orientation. This includes specifically the right of foreign citizens to enter this country. Appropriate legislative and administrative actions to achieve these goals should be undertaken.”

Read the full 1980 Democratic Party Platform: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=29607

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