Saturday, August 16, 2008
The political parties are in the process of drafting their national party platforms for the 2008 election and, as expected, there is some attention to family law issues.
The draft 2008 Democratic National Platform is interesting both for what it says and what it does not say. A section on "fatherhood" states that "too many fathers are missing." The party supports "removing tax penalties on married families and expanding maternity and paternity benefits," as well as rewarding those "who are responsibly supporting their children by giving them a tax credit" and will "crack down on men who avoid child support payments" and "ensure that payments go directly to families instead of bureaucracies." (page 44 lines 34-44). There is a section on "empowering families" with an extensive discussion of policies on health care, employment, "work and family," and women. Of particular interest is a pledge to "expand the Family and Medical Leave Act" to "enable workers to take leave to care for an elderly parent, address domestic violence, or attend a parent-teacher conference," and to work with states to make leave paid rather than unpaid. (page 10 lines 31-35). In a subsection entitled "Choice" the platform provides: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right." There is also strong support for "access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education," and a mention of "caring adoption programs." (page 45 line 19-31). There is also this single line: "We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us." (page 47 lines 8-9).
The draft of the 2008 Democratic National Platform, in pdf format from CNN/TIME, is available here.
The Republican National Platform Committee is apparently still in progress - - - the committee is soliciting input for its 2008 platform here.
The draft of the 2008 Green Party Platform includes a section on youth, a call for equality regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity in civil marriage and child custody, a section on protecting abortion and contraception (specifically including the "morning after pill") and is available here.
The 2008 Constitution Party Platform calls for to the government to "secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born." The platform opposes "government funding of 'partner' benefits for unmarried individuals," "any legal recognition of homosexual unions," and "efforts to legalize adoption of children by homosexual singles or couples," and is available here.
(RR August 16, 2008)