The University Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to marriage equality Thursday, signing onto a national bipartisan statement affirming the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples. The effort, spearheaded by the University of Pennsylvania Democrats, recruited the support of 50 College Democrat and Republican associations from across the nation. “We, the presidents of College Democrats and College Republicans chapters from across America, stand united to affirm the right of all Americans to marry the person they love, regardless of gender,” the statement said. “We challenge our nation’s leaders to join us in defense of marriage equality for LGBTQ couples.” Forty College Democrat organizations and 10 College Republican groups signed the statement. “A lot of the time, [the debate] is seen as a Democratic issue, and people think Republicans are [automatically] against it,” Penn Democrats Communication Director Jane Meyer said. “After talking to the College Republicans at the [University of Pennsylvania], we found that really wasn’t the case.” For the University Democrats, at least, signing the statement was a no-brainer. “Obviously as a club, marriage equality is something we stand for,” said second-year College student Madeline DuCharme, UDems communication director. DuCharme also commended the statement’s attempt to shape marriage equality as a bipartisan effort. “We liked that their position incorporated both sides of the aisle,” she said. “In a lot of issues, and particularly with marriage equality, it’s important to find common ground to better people’s lives and get something done.” The University’s College Republicans organization did not sign the statement and could not be reached for comment.