Obama’s Gay Marriage Conundrum: Advocates Ask Obama to Speak Now; Political Pragmatists Say Hold Your Peace

In truth, there are complicated parliamentary rules that detail who gets on the platform drafting committee, how the planks get voted upon, what kind of amendments may be offered and what the final document looks like, but there is little doubt that the party platform will represent the priorities of the president.

“There is a platform committee, but they rubber stamp it,” said Ed Kilgore, a Democratic strategist and someone closely involved with several Democratic conventions in the past. “It is going to be totally up to the Obama people. No way somebody will get up on the floor and propose a plank [without his approval]. The real question is whether the president is ready to back marriage equality. He is ‘evolving,’ but most of the Democratic Party is already there.”

Mr. Kilgore, however, said that he could imagine a scenario where other gay groups try to curb some of Freedom to Marry’s efforts, citing the fact that they have been on a roll in states across the county and may be hesitant to push their luck over platform language that is largely meaningless.

But if he is wrong, and Mr. Wolfson and his supporters push a marriage plank only to have it fail, there is no telling what will happen at the Democratic convention, although there could be enough drama to make the “brokered convention” fantasies over the Republican side of the aisle seem tame by comparison. Democrats sound determined to avoid this fate.

“We will not let Republicans enjoy a party,” Ms. Germond said. “We are united by candidate. I do not expect there to be a floor fight.”

But Mr. Wolfson refused to rule out the possibility of walkout.

“It is way premature to have any conversation about that. The process hasn’t even begun yet. We have begun the conversation. We believe we are talking with friends and people who are mostly in support of the freedom to marry and we have every reason to believe this will be in the platform.”

So, nothing dramatic or symbolic if you don’t get your way?

“The convention is in September,” he replied evenly.
dfreedlander@observer.com