CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Democrats meeting in Charlotte, N.C., OK'd a platform to protect women's reproductive rights, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and raise the minimum wage.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., co-chairwoman of the platform committee, described the platform for Democratic National Convention participants Tuesday as one that "embodies the values we hold dear as Democrats and as Americans."
"We will move forward, not backward," Lee said, saying the platform "speaks to the aspirations of all."
The delegates enthusiastically approved the platform.
When outlining portions of the platform that would protect small businesses and would call for the expiration of lower tax rates for wealthier taxpayers, platform panel co-chairman Cory Booker, Newark, N.J., mayor, said, "Being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare; it's patriotism."
Among other things, the Democrats' platform calls for strengthening the middle class through tax cuts, healthcare reform and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
"We will block Republican efforts" to privatize Social Security, or to privatize or introduce vouchers Medicare, the platform said.
Democrats call for cutting waste, reducing the deficit and asking all taxpayers to pay their fair share, enacting an all-inclusive energy policy, and "betting" on manufacturing and the auto industry.
"We will raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation," the platform said. "We believe in an America where people looking for work can find good jobs, where hard work pays and where responsibility is rewarded."
The platform said Obama and the Democratic Party "maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel's security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values."
In the current fiscal environment, leaders in Washington "must also make tough budgetary decisions across the board, and that includes within the defense budget," the document said. "As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ... we will be able to ensure our security with a more agile and more flexible force. At the same time, we will continue to emphasize forward engagement in critical regions ... [and] we will continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems so that we can invest in cutting-edge technologies and maintain a versatile set of capabilities required to execute a wide range of military missions."
The document reaffirmed the Democratic Party's support of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, and "a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."
The document laid out opposition to efforts to "deny equal protection of laws to committed same-sex couples. ... We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act."
The platform reasserted the party's position on voting rights, saying, "we oppose laws that place unnecessary restrictions on those seeking to exercise that freedom."
The platform "sets forth an emboldened pathway" for current and future generations, Booker said amid cheers and shouts of "USA. USA. USA." "You should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger, to go even further and accomplish more than you could ever imagine. This is our platform."
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