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Topics In the News
 
Record GLBTQ Participation in 2012 Democratic Convention
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/30/12
Last updated on: 08/30/12
 
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As the hate-fest known as the Republican National Convention concludes, it is well to remember that the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week will have a record number of glbtq delegates and alternates. The Democratic Convention is also expected to adopt a platform that endorses marriage equality.

The National Stonewall Democrats (NSD), which identifies itself as the national voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied Democrats, with more than 80 local affiliates across the nation, announced via press release that it has identified at least 534 official glbtq participants in the 2012 Democratic National Convention. This record number represents a marked increase in glbtq participation from four years ago where just over 350 participants were identified.

"What an amazing and inspiring convention this will be," said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats. "With over 530 LGBT participants identified for this year's convention, we not only set a new record for LGBT participation in a national convention, we have sent the clearest message possible that the Democratic Party is the party of inclusion."

"Dedicated activists," continued Davis, "including those at the DNC and National Stonewall Democrats, made this historic moment possible by doggedly insisting that LGBT people have a seat at the table and by demonstrating the strength our community can bring to party politics. We didn't sit around wishing for a better Party, we made the Party better for LGBT people."

Pride in the Party, National Stonewall Democrats' program to increase LGBT participation at conventions and within the various state and national Democratic Party organizations, was launched in 2007 with director Rick Boylan at the helm.

Boylan said, "The Obama campaign understands that the LGBT community is a key constituency in the 2012 election. Their support for the community and the issues important to LGBT Americans will help reelect the president and elect Democrats down the ballot in all states."

"By ensuring an open and inclusive delegate selection process, state Democratic Party organizations are witnessing an increase in LGBT involvement in Democratic campaigns, as well as Democratic organizing and fundraising activities," he added. "As the Party has expanded its outreach to the LGBT community, the community has expanded its involvement in the Party. We are seeing better working relationships with elected officials and more interest in pro-equality legislation at all levels of government."

For the first time, there will be at least one glbtq delegate from each state. Three states, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alaska, are sending glbtq delegates to the national convention for the first time. The largest glbtq delegation will be from California, which is sending 76 participants.

The National Stonewall Democrats was founded in 1998 by Congressman Barney Frank and other activists from around the country. Since the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, the organization has advocated, supported, and organized increased glbtq inclusion in the state delegations sent to national conventions.

The video below, narrated by Jane Lynch, reviews President Obama's long list of accomplishments on behalf of the glbtq community, from expanding health hospital visitation rights and participating in the It Gets Better Project to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and becoming the first sitting president in American history to embrace marriage equality.

 
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