(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Moments after convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa gaveled in Day Two of the Democratic Convention, the hall burst into chaos as Democrats voted to amend their party’s platform to include the word “God” and name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Villaraigosa called the vote three times. The first two voice votes, which require a two-thirds majority to pass, were tied between “ays” and “nos.” On the third vote it was still hard to tell whether the “ays” were audibly louder than the “nays” in the half-full arena.
When Villaraigosa announced “the ays have it,” loud boos erupted across the arena.
The changes came after a sharp day of criticism by both Republicans and Democrats alike for the platform’s exclusion of “God” and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Democrats moved Wednesday to make revisions to “maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the president and the Democratic Party platform in 2008,” according to a statement from the Democratic National Committee.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan criticized the Democrats’ 2012 platform Wednesday, calling the omission “rather peculiar.”
“It’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision, but I guess you would have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform,” Ryan said on Fox News.
The word “God” is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. The word “Nature’s God” appears once in the Declaration of Independence, alongside mention of the word “Creator.”
Prior to Wednesday’s vote to include “God,” the Democratic 2012 platform referred to faith, saying it “has always been a central part of the American story.” It also says the U.S. was founded on the principle of religious freedom and the ability of people to worship as they please. It also praised the work of faith-based organizations.
Republicans have sought to highlight the absence of the word “God” from Democrats’ platform. “God” was mentioned once in Democrats’ 2008 platform. The 2012 GOP platform mentions “God” 12 times.
As for the vote to include language previously left out about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, the DNC said in Wednesday’s statement, “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”
“It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
Watch the vote:
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News & Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Jackson Adams, Teton Valley News
Stephen Collinson, CNN