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Lesbian congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was named to the Democratic Party's Platform Drafting Committee this week, it was announced Wednesday. Wisconsin's Baldwin, with 19 other appointees, is tasked with shaping the party's agenda heading into the fall presidential election for the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama.
The Democrats were seen as progressive in the 2004 election platform process by including more gay rights language than ever before, The Washington Blade reports. The agenda, however, did not include civil rights protections for transgender people and made limited references to the military's ban on gay and lesbian service members. The 2004 platform will remain in effect until the 2008 plan is instituted in August at the convention in Denver.
Arizona governor Janet Napolitano will lead the drafting committee. Other members include Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, Maryland lieutenant governor Anthony Brown, labor directors, policy advisers, and other Democratic politicians.
Michael Yaki, a former aide to House speaker Nancy Pelosi, will serve as national platform director. Karen Kornbluh will be the principal author of the platform. She is currently on leave from Obama's Senate office, where she serves as policy director.
The Obama campaign is teaming up with the Democratic National Committee to open the platform drafting process to the public, in meetings across America from July 19 to 27. The draft will serve as a preliminary document for the full Platform Drafting Committee's consideration, which will meet August 9 in Pittsburgh, according to the Associated Press. (The Advocate)