Election News

There will be a presidential primary debate this year focused solely on LGBTQ issues

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth WarrenPhoto: AP/Facebook/Pete for America/Shutterstock

The Democratic presidential candidates will appear at an LGBTQ forum later this year.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will be hosting a presidential forum on October 10, 2019, at UCLA. That is, just before National Coming Out Day.

HRC has not said what the format of the forum will be – whether it will be a succession of candidates or if they will be on-stage together and able to respond to one another – or who will be moderating.

In 2007, HRC hosted the Visible Vote ’08 forum, which was moderated by straight journalist Margaret Carlson. Then-HRC Executive Director Joe Solmonese, journalist Jonathan Capehart, and musician Melissa Etheridge asked the candidates questions one-by-one.

HRC also hosted a Democratic primary forum in 2004. They did not host one in 2016.

Related: HRC rejects $325k donation from Bank of America for supporting discrimination

Candidates will be able to qualify for the forum by getting at least 1% support in three different national polls and getting over 65,000 donors from 20 different states, the same as the requirements for getting into the other primary debates.

Exit polls in 2016 found that 78% of LGBT people voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, up from the 70% that voted for Barack Obama in 2008, so LGBT people are a loyal Democratic constituency that the primary candidates should want to appeal to.

Note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly said that National Coming Out Day is on October 10. It is on October 11.

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