Democrats on track to break records with LGBT convention delegates

The upcoming Democratic National Convention is set to have a record number of openly LGBT delegates, although goals for some states aren’t being met, according to new data from the National Stonewall Democrats.

The organization as of Wednesday evening identified at least 470 openly LGBT delegates that are set to attend the convention, but more data is expected to become public at a later time. A total of 5,963 delegates are set to come to Charlotte, N.C.., for the event during the week of Sept. 3.

Jerame Davis

Having 470 delegates exceeds the goal of 418 delegates at the convention and is already higher than numbers from 2008, when 277 delegates participated.

Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, said the numbers “for sure” mean Democrats are on track to have the highest number of openly LGBT delegates ever at the convention.

“We’re finally getting to the point where we get closer to appropriate measure of representation as compared to the population at large, although we’re not quite to that point,” Davis said.

Davis said the goals for LGBT delegates were set by the state Democratic parties as part of their affirmative action plans for the convention, but these goals had to meet the approval of the Democratic National Committee.

Additionally, Davis has identified a total of 518 official LGBT participants at the convention. In addition to the 470 identified LGBT delegates, these participants include 23 alternate delegates, 20 standing committee members and five pages. That’s also higher than the 365 LGBT participants who went to the 2008 convention in Denver and the 282 LGBT participants who went to the 2004 convention in Boston.

The numbers aren’t official and the DNC has yet to make public the final numbers. Davis said he isn’t sure when the official numbers will be made public, but they are expected to come out before the convention. The DNC didn’t respond to a request for comment on when the official information will be released.

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