HRC and UCLA to Host 2020 Presidential Debate on LGBTQ Issues

It will be the first such event HRC has held since 2008.

HRC and UCLA will host a 2020 presidential debate for the Democratic primary candidates focused solely on LGBTQ issues.

The event will take place October 10, the day before National Coming Out Day, as part of UCLA’s Luskin Lecture Series. This will be the first time HRC has held such a forum since 2008. It also held one in 2004.

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The LGBTQ rights movement has made great strides, both nationally and internationally, during that time, but much work remains. The forum will give voters a chance to hear the candidates’ platforms and determine whom they most trust to fight for the community.

A press release from HRC highlights the challenges that remain:

Today, in 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. Thirty-five states have yet to outlaw the dangerous and debunked practice known as “conversion therapy.” LGBTQ youth continue to face elevated levels of bullying and rejection, and many associated physical and mental health challenges. According to FBI hate crimes statistics from 2017, the most recently available data, the bureau reported a surge in hate crimes disproportionately affecting LGBTQ people, black people and religious minorities, especially those living at the intersection of multiple identities. And at least 100 transgender people — most of whom are transgender women of color — have been murdered in the United States since the beginning of 2015.

“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,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“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.”

“The Luskin School of Public Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of all Americans through an informed electorate and educated social leaders,” said Gary Segura, dean of UCLA Luskin. “We are beyond excited to partner with the Human Rights Campaign in raising LGBTQ issues and the policy stances of candidates to greater public attention in this cycle. UCLA is the perfect host for this conversation.”

According to NBC News exit polling, 78% of LGBTQ voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. That was up from 76% who voted for President Obama in 2012, and 70% who cast their ballot for him in 2008. In 2004, 77% of LGBTQ voters backed John Kerry.

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