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US 2020 Democratic candidates to participate in LGBTI debate

US 2020 Democratic candidates to participate in LGBTI debate

A LGBTI pride flag being planted outside the White House

Democratic presidential candidates will be invited to a forum focused on LGBTI policies.

The 2020 candidates will discuss topics related to LGBTI hate crimes, bullying and transgender rights, according to the Washington Post. 

The Human Rights Campaign and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs will host the debate.

The event is scheduled for 10 October, on the same day as National Coming Out Day.

Who’s involved?

The 2020 Democratic field is a crowded one, with over a dozen lawmakers vying for presidential nomination. Many are pro-LGBTI.

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, supported by Beyoncé, is one of the 15 hopefuls.

He comes alongside Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Any Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper, and Elizabeth Warren.

To be eligible to attend the forum, candidates must receive donations from 65,000 people across 20 different states or receive 1% or higher support in three national polls.

Notably, the first gay politician to run for president, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg from Indiana, has already met the threshold.

LGBTI rights across the states are not consistent 

The HRC previously hosted presidential forums for presidential primary candidates in 2004 and 2008.

‘If any LGBTQ person were to take a cross-country drive from HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to UCLA’s campus, their rights and protections under the law would change dozens of times at every city line and state border,’ HRC President Chad Griffin said in statement today.

‘Millions of LGBTQ people will have their rights on the ballot in 2020 — but today we are also a powerful voting bloc that will help determine the outcome.

‘We’re excited to partner with UCLA Luskin and create an opportunity to hear candidates’ agendas for moving equality forward.’

How much has changed in ten years?

Since the last forum over ten years ago, the US has made great pro-LGBTI steps.

According to a Gallup poll, 55% of Americans supported LGBTI rights in 2008.

That since leapt to 75% in 2018.

Moreover, in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama supported civil unions but not marriage between same-sex couples.

In the last decade, many states have legalized marriage equality while others have made LGBTI hate crimes and discrimination illegal.

Though, inequalities remain in many patches of the nation.

President Trump has supported several legislative changes that have halted progress, most notably, the trans troops ban.

Moreover, lawmakers in state after state continue to propose anti-LGBTI bills. Though many were vetoed or annulled, that outcome cannot always be relied on.

See also

Members of Congress meet with parents of trans kids to discuss Equality Act

Bernie Sanders does drag brunch in West Hollywood, lets everyone ‘feel the bern’

Drop investigation into LGBT-inclusive Women’s March, rights group urges