The Democratic National Committee released a draft of the party's 2008 platform to be unveiled in Denver at their convention. Gay groups offered a tepid response.

“As we head towards the November elections, it's important to know if America's political parties and candidates will begin to address the needs, and equality, of the LBGT community,” Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Director of Communications Steve Ralls wrote on the group's blog.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of the document. And here's why: the 56 page document spent much of its ink on supporting Senator Hillary Clinton's plan for universal health care and John Edward's call to eliminate poverty in America, and little time on gay and lesbian issues.

Moreover, the attention spent on LGBT issues is addressed in unusually broad terms. In its support for gay marriage, the document offers a scant: “We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.”

In supporting LGBT people, the document says Democrats will “fight discrimination, including sexual orientation and gender identity” and “We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act.”

Would most people consider this pro-gay language?

Cindi Creager, Director of National News at Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), wasn't impressed, “...the [Democratic] Party found a way in the 56 page document to address a handful of LGBT issues without ever actually using the words lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

The one bright spot in the platform involved the military, where Democratic leaders got it right: “We will also put national security above divisive politics. More than 10,000 service men and women have been discharged on the basis of sexual orientation since the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy was implemented, at a cost of over $360 million. Many of those forced out had special skills in high demand, such as translators, engineers and pilots. At a time when the military is having a tough time recruiting and retaining troops, it is wrong to deny our country the service of brave, qualified people. We support the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the implementation of policies to allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.”

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a legal group dedicated to ending the “Don't Ask” policy, applauded that statement by urging Republicans to call for repeal in their platform.

Still, most in the gay community commented that it was too little or too vague. Cindi Creager commented on the GLAAD blog that Democrats were simply being cautious not to use language that could be exploited by anti-gay forces.

Still, she called on the media to “hold the parties accountable for clarifying positions rather than tiptoeing around them with vague, linguistic maneuvering.”