By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN
Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) – It began 40 years ago with one delegate from Buffalo. Now, at the Democratic National Convention this week, the call for a federal law recognizing same-sex marriages will become part of the party's official platform.
Madeline Davis was one of only two openly gay delegates at the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami Beach. In a ground breaking moment, she identified herself at the podium as a lesbian and asked her fellow delegates to adopt language calling for equal rights for homosexuals.
[2:29] “We’ve done so much since that. We’ve done so much picketing and so much convincing and had so many meetings and… it’s just a lifetime of work and for some reason my major feeling about this is I’m really tired. I’m really tired.”
While the party platform is changing, Davis says it’s just the beginning of a new chapter in the gay rights movement:
[3:31] “I think it’s going to take a very long time for this to be accepted nationally. It’s going to go back and forth through the courts. It’s going to go back and forth through statewide votes. It’s going to be very long. It’s going to be longer, I think, than the time I already waited.”
Delegates attending a welcoming party in Charlotte for the LGBT community were more optimistic. Jerame Davis is executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, the only national LGBT Democratic organization:
[4:29] “It means a lot because it’s an ideal. For our work in particular what the platform means is it is a picture of what the ideal Democrat looks like. And our party is saying the ideal Democrat supports LGBT equality fully.”