US Democrats have drafted a gay marriage support plank into their party platform.

A 15-member panel unanimously backed the inclusion of a marriage equality plank after a national hearing in Minneapolis at the weekend.

The draft will now go before the entire platform committee in two weeks. It is expected to be approved and will then go before Democratic convention delegates in early September.

“I was part of a unanimous decision to include it,” retiring gay Democrat Barney Frank told the Washington Blade.

“There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it.”

The draft platform language also reiterated the party’s disapproval of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits the federal government from recognising legal same-sex marriages

In May, US president Barack Obama publicly announced that he supported same-sex marriage.

In December 2011, the Australian Labor Party made marriage equality a part of its policy platform, but Labor MPs will be allowed a conscience vote on the issue when proposed changes to the Marriage Act are submitted to Parliament.

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