In a first for LGBTQ rights, six out of ten Democratic presidential candidates have agreed to appear in a town hall event that aims to focus on “issues of importance to the LGBTQ community.” CNN and The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will host the event on October 10.
So far former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary Julián Castro, Senators Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren have signed on. The New Civil Rights Movement reports the event is open to all Democratic presidential candidates if they meet the Democratic National Committee’s fall debate eligibility criteria.
The event airs on the eve of National Coming Out Day, and the HRC reports it will feature the largest-ever audience for a Democratic Presidential town hall that’s devoted to LGBTQ issues, CNN reports.
“This town hall comes at a critical time in our fight to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in this nation,” said HRC’s recently elected president Alphonso David. “Today, in 30 states LGBTQ remain at risk of being fired, evicted, denied services because of who we are. Thirty-five states have yet to ban the dangerous and debunked practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ which is harming our young people. Hate crimes are rising and more than 100 transgender people — most of whom are transgender women of color — have been killed in the United States in the last five years.”
David singled out the Trump administration for causing much harm to the LGBTQ community.
“Although the federal government should be protecting all residents, the Trump-Pence administration is directly attacking our community by banning transgender troops from serving our country openly, undermining healthcare services for people living with HIV, and seeking to erase LGBTQ from protections under the law.”
As if that isn’t bad enough, the Trump-Pence administration has been very vocal in opposing the Equality Act, bipartisan civil rights legislation that passed the House earlier this year.
A Gallup poll conducted in May showed that Trump and Pence are out of sync with are a large segment of the American public. That poll showed that 53 percent of Americans believe new laws should be implemented to protect the LGBTQ community’s civil rights, while 46 percent are still in the stone age and do not support this.
And the latest poll also showed that 63 percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage (which was legalized by the Supreme Court in 2015). That’s a sharp rise from 1999 when only 35 percent supported it.
So let’s hope that Democrats who really do care about civil rights for LGBTQ people step up to remove Trump from office. While they have qualified for this month’s DNC debate, it’s still uncertain whether Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Democratic attorney Andrew Yang will appear.
The event is scheduled to be held at the Novo in Los Angeles.