For the first time in history, a major news network will broadcast presidential candidates on television to focus on solely LGBTQ+ topics for “Power of our Pride,” a town-hall style debate hosted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The event will air on Thursday, Oct. 10 during primetime and broadcasted on CNN and CNN en Español exclusively, along with their apps.
According to HRC, six candidates confirmed their participation: former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
HRC President Alphonso David said, “We are eager to hear from this field of Democratic presidential candidates about how they plan to win full federal equality, defend the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people, and protect the most vulnerable among us -- both here in the United States and around the globe -- from stigma, institutional inequality, discrimination, and violence… This town hall comes at a critical time in our fight to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBTQ) in this nation. Today, in 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who we are.”
The Trump-Pence Administration rescinded protections for transgender students, appointed two new conservative justices to the Supreme Court, placed a ban on transgender folks from serving openly in the military.
“35 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 said, “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 health care services for people living with HIV, and seeking to erase LGBTQ people from protections under law.”
A record number of LGBTQ folks voted in 2018 and the HRC expects the number to rise. “There is an estimated minimum of 10 million LGBTQ voters nationwide -- along with millions of parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, and allies -- who will play a decisive role in the 2020 election. Since 2016, HRC has identified more than 57 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies, including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” HRC said in a press release.
Presidential candidates who are participating in the town hall must meet the fall DNC debate eligibility criteria: two percent or more in support from four separate national or state polls and 130,000 unique donors with a minimum of 400 individual donors across 20 states.