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Local Delegate Reacts To ‘God’ Platform Controversy

September 7, 2012
By JOSELYN KING With AP Dispatches - Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Delegates at the Democratic National Convention voted to restore references to "God" and "Jerusalem" to the party's platform Wedneday, but not without controversy on the convention floor.

President Barack Obama - before accepting his party's nomination for re-election Thursday evening - asked that Democrats return to the party platform references to God, and language stating that Jerusalem "is and always will be the capital of Israel."

The vote on the convention floor Wednesday caught many delegates off-guard and inspired some to "boo," exposing divisions in the party over U.S.-Israeli relations.

When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman, called for a voice vote, the "ayes" and "nays" were equally loud. He called for a second. The result was louder but still uncertain. Villaraigosa appeared to look for help from the sidelines and then called for yet another vote. He then declared the amendment passed.

Diane Conroy of Jacobsburg was among Ohio's delegation to the convention, and she said while the "boos" seemed loud, she believed more attendees supported the religious references.

"The 'boos' were louder, but (the majority of delegates) wanted to have the God part put back in," she said.

Conroy said it is her first time as a delegate to the DNC.

"It's a real eye-opener, and a changing time in my life," she said. "You don't understand it all until you've actually done it. I've met so many people from all over the country - maybe not all of the same opinion, but all there for the same reasons."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that Democrats made a mistake when they omitted from the party platform a reference to Jerusalem as Israel's capital earlier this week.

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