Sen. Merkley: Rights Come from God, Constitution Creates 'Right to Marry Whoever You Love'

By Fred Lucas | September 7, 2012 | 5:42 AM EDT

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) (AP Photo)

Charlotte ( – Following disagreement within his own party on whether God belongs in the Democratic Party platform, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he agrees with the Declaration of Independence that all rights are God-given. asked Merkley on Thursday, “After the dustup regarding the platform last night, would you agree with the Declaration of Independence that all rights are God-given?

“Well, I must say it fits my personal belief, yes,” Merkley responded on Thursday in Charlotte.

“Would that include some of the more controversial rights, considered rights, like abortion and same-sex marriage?” followed up:

“Let’s talk about the Constitution on same-sex marriage,” Merkley said. “It says full equality under the law. That means the right to marry whoever you love. I ran for the Senate on a platform of full marriage equality. The people of Oregon supported me in that. And I will continue to fight for that.”

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

The Democratic Party platform achieved notoriety this week for not having a single reference to God, as it has in past years, until President Obama reportedly intervened. The platform adopted last week by the Republican National Convention included 12 references to God.

On Wednesday, in a hotly contested voice vote, Democratic convention delegates voted to amend the platform to include language saying, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

Just as God was edited out of the Democratic platform draft, so was any reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was restored to the platform in the same voice vote that restored God.

The voice vote, which had to be taken three times to get the desired result, drew strong boos from Democrats, many of whom were upset with the way the revisions came about – if not the revisions themselves.