"I remember being told 'not yet.' Well, yet has come!"
- American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, at the Democratic National Convention LGBT Caucus
It's official. Marriage equality is in the party platform of the Democratic Party.
Eight years after John Kerry said "not yet." Four years after both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said "not yet." Three months since Barack Obama and Joe Biden said "Not Yet," marriage equality is now "yet" for the Democratic Party.
On Tuesday, my fellow delegates approved the first-ever party platform inclusive of marriage equality, and before the week's end, we will renominate the first Presidential ticket to embrace marriage equality. If the Democratic party were to win enough seats in Congress, marriage equality could be in reach.
I was struck by the inclusion of marriage equality in First Lady Michelle Obama's speech last night. "Yet" has certainly come; this isn't some minute detail in the masses of a party platform. The Democrats have in fact said "I Do" to marriage equality.
In another "yet has come" moment, we heard the first-ever DNC keynote by a Latino person last night: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who addressed civil rights front and center:
“My mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.”
Mayor Castro gave an amazing speech. But even better than the speech was the meaning behind it. He said "May god bless you" in Spanish. He reminded voters that the Latino experience is compatible with Democratic values, and did so in a way that also said, "'Yet' has come."
And in our physical delegation, 'yet' has come, and will continue to come in years to the future. More than 500 of my fellow delegates are LGBT, 11 of whom are transgender (including one super delegate from New Jersey.)
There is no way to say this other than bluntly. Our 'yet' has come in the Democratic Party. But for gay voters in the Republican party, they are saying, there comes a time to fight, and that time is NOT now.
We have a stark choice. Equality or no equality. Obama or Romney.
The parallel is clear.
Adrian Shanker is a former Mount Kisco and Bedford resident, Fox Lane High School alum and the President of Equality Pennsylvania. He is attending the Democratic National Convention as an Alternate Delegate for President Barack Obama for Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District.