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Kerry Pans Gay Marriage
by Bob Roehr

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The Massachusetts Democratic Party is expected to adopt a party platform that includes a provision supporting same-sex marriage when it meets May 14. Such marriage is now part of the legal and social fabric of the state and the measure is not seen as controversial by most local politicians..

But not to Sen. John Kerry. 'I'm opposed to it being in the platform. I think it's a mistake,' the former Democratic presidential candidate said May 5 in Baton Rouge, La., where he was hosting a forum on children's healthcare. 'I think it's the wrong thing, and I'm not sure it reflects the broad view of the Democratic Party in our state,' he said.

State party chairman Philip W. Johnston disagreed. 'It is important that the State Democratic Party support civil rights. We need to take a stand.' A March poll showed that 71% of Democrats in the state support same-sex marriage, though support was lower among Republicans and Independents.

The state's senior Senator, Ted Kennedy, supports the platform plank.

'We respectfully and strongly disagree with Senator Kerry,' said Eric Stern, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats.' He urged Kerry 'to follow the example' of Kennedy in 'supporting the enforcement of state law.'

More than 5,000 same-sex couples and families are stronger and more secure because they are now married under state law, the Human Rights Campaign asserts.

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