Human Rights Campaign, CNN to hold LGBTQ town hall with 2020 Democrats

Human Rights Campaign, CNN to hold LGBTQ town hall with 2020 Democrats

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation announced Thursday that it will host a CNN Democratic presidential town hall in California next month to focus on LGBTQ issues.

HRC said the event, which will air from Los Angeles on the eve of National Coming Out Day, will feature “the largest-ever audience for a Democratic presidential town hall devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues.”

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The candidates will appear at back-to-back town halls and will take questions both from the audience and CNN journalists regarding their plans to promote equality for the LGBTQ community.

HRC said Thursday morning that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHundreds of lawyers from nation's oldest African American sorority join effort to fight voter suppression Biden picks up endorsement from progressive climate group 350 Action 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Mass.) have already committed to joining the event.

“For nearly 40 years, the Human Rights Campaign has fought to realize a world in which LGBTQ people are safe, equal and free in every aspect of our lives,” said HRC President Alphonso David.

“Today, at a time when our most basic civil rights and democratic values are under attack, our work has never been more urgent. 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.” 

David cited state laws allowing employers to fire people over their sexuality and legalizing conversion therapy, as well as the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations protecting transgender students and efforts to prevent transgender troops from serving in the military, as evidence that such a town hall is needed.

A June Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against the LGBTQ community. The poll came about a month after the House passed the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, jury selection and public accommodations.

To qualify for the town hall, candidates must meet the same thresholds the Democratic National Committee (DNC) laid out for its September and October debates — hitting 2 percent in four DNC-approved polls and garnering 130,000 unique donors. The polls for this town hall must be released between June 28 and Sept. 25.