The Democratic National Convention has kicked off, announcing support for equal marriage, and has been praised for representing, and embracing the LGBT community in the US.

The Democrats’ platform, announced in Charlotte, North Carolina, endorsed the move towards equal marriage rights for all, as well as abortion rights, but the actual attendance of the convention is also noteworthy because of the LGBT presence there.

The Associated Press reported that 486 LGBT delegates attended the Democratic Party’s National Convention, making up over 8% of the total attendees. Speakers include three openly gay members of congress, as well as a record turnout of LGBT delegates.

Jerame Davis of National Stonewall Democrats said:

“We’ve been an underrepresented demographic in politics for a long time,” he said, “Finally seeing us appropriately represented is just a thrill.”

As well as supporting the right to equal marriage for all, the platform read:

“We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.’’

It also stated an opposition to: ‘‘federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection under the law’’.

The Democrats’ party position on LGBT issues and abortion, as well as other political issues, contrasts strongly with the Republican Party platform which was announced last week. The GOP platform would ban equal marriage, and all abortion.

The Democratic platform acknowledged the vastly differing policies:

‘‘This election is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different paths for our country and our families,’’