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Not a single Democratic debate has asked about LGBT issues so far

Nick Duffy September 13, 2019
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren during the third Democratic primary debate

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren during the third Democratic primary debate (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

The third Democratic debate once again failed to challenge candidates on their plans for LGBT+ Americans.

The ten leading Presidential hopefuls took part in the debate on Thursday (September 12), which was moderated by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Democratic debate is a ‘missed opportunity’ to discuss LGBT+ policy issues

The three-hour debate covered a wide range of issues including healthcare, racial equality, immigration and gun reform, but once again LGBT+ policy issues were not mentioned.

It was the third debate in a row with no questions relating to LGBT+ issues, despite some candidates’ sweeping plans to expand civil rights laws to cover discrimination against LGBT+ people, clamp down on conversion therapy, and bolster recognition for transgender people.

Senator of New Jersey Cory Booker, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator of Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Senator of California Kamala Harris at third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign
Senator of New Jersey Cory Booker, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator of Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Senator of California Kamala Harris at third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty)Democr

GLAAD said the debate was “another missed opportunity” to address concerns of LGBT+ voters on a national stage.

Candidate’s forums to test Democrats over LGBT+ policy plans

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “The Trump Administration has spent the last three years rolling back rights for LGBTQ and other marginalised communities, and it’s imperative that LGBTQ people and the issues affecting our lives and our families not be overlooked in this Presidential election.”

The Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD are both set to host events over the next month where leading candidates will discuss their LGBT+ policy plans in detail, given their absence from the national stage.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar are among those set to attend GLAAD’s LGBTQ Forum on September 20.

Ellis added: “Next week’s LGBTQ Forum in Iowa will correct the pattern we have seen in the first round of debates that have left LGBTQ people largely out of the conversation.”

The advocacy group previously released a list of questions for debate moderators to ask 2020 Democrats:

1. Do you support expanding the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to include explicit protections for all marginalized communities in the United States?

2. What are your plans to achieve full equality under the law for all LGBTQ people in this country?

3. What will you do to stop the epidemic of violence plaguing the transgender community, specifically transgender women of colour?

4. What are your plans to reverse the 118 anti-LGBTQ actions made by the Trump Administration?

5. Specifically, Would you disband the new State Department’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights” and reinstate the U.S. position of leadership on human rights for LGBTQ people here and around the world?

Although the third debate did not ask about LGBT+ issues, Pete Buttigieg spoke about his coming out story during his closing remarks.

More: debate, democrat, Democratic, LGBT, TV

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