Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on Tuesday insisted that a state-by-state approach was the only way to legalize same sex marriage.

"There was a fundamental confusion here,' he said on MSNBC. "There has never been a practical law saying that what marriage is. Marriage has been left to the states."

The Democratic Party platform drafting committee has unanimously approved language endorsing marriage equality as part of the party’s official 2012 platform. Democrats will finalize their party platform at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina in September.

Frank's comments suggest the party will not seek a federal law to allow same sex couples to marry. Frank is a member of the platform drafting committee.

"The point is there is no federal law to be passed," he explained. "Look at the situation with race. When there were states that would not allow interracial marriage, even after the Civil Rights Act has passed in '64 and '65, there was no federal law saying interracial marriage had to be allowed. It was done by the Supreme Court. The constitutional framework has always been states decide who gets married."

"It has always been up to the states," Frank added. "The only federal rule on the subject was the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Democrats are trying to overthrow."

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